The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let
stand a lower court's ruling favoring transgender students.
The case involves the Boyertown Area
School District, which in 2016 began allowing transgender students to
use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
Last year, the Third Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld the Pennsylvania school district's policy.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a
Christian conservative group representing an anonymous group of
students and parents, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
The high court announced on Tuesday
that it would not hear the case of Doe v. Boyertown.
In its 32-page petition to the Supreme
Court, ADF asserted that the Boyertown Area School District's policy
violates the right to privacy of the students it's representing.
“Forcing a teenager to share a locker
room or restroom with a member of the opposite sex can cause
embarrassment and distress, particularly for students who have been
victims of sexual assault,” the petition reads.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) intervened in the case on behalf of the Pennsylvania Youth
Congress, a coalition of LGBT youth organizations.
“This is an enormous victory for
transgender students across the country,” ACLU attorney Ria Tabacco
Mar said in a statement. “Boyertown’s schools chose to be
inclusive and welcoming of transgender students in 2016, a decision
the courts have affirmed again and again. This lawsuit sought to
reverse that hard-won progress by excluding transgender students from
school facilities that other students use. That would have increased
the stigma and discrimination that transgender students already
“Thankfully, today’s announcement
allows schools to move forward with policies that support transgender
students. But our work is far from over. We will continue to defend
the transgender community from attacks in the courts, the
legislatures, and the White House.”
Aidan DeStefano, a transgender student
who recently graduated from Boyertown High, added: “By the time I
graduated high school, I was using the boys’ bathroom and
participating on the boys’ cross country team. I felt like I
belonged and had the confidence I needed to continue with my
education. I’m glad the Supreme Court is allowing schools like mine
to continue supporting transgender students.”