Cases & Advocacy

Doe v. Boyertown Area School District Amicus

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Pennsylvania

Jurisdiction + Case Number: E.D. Pa., Case No. 5:17-CV-1249; 3d Cir., Case No. 17-3113

A group of nontransgender students in the Boyertown Area School District sued the school district for allowing transgender students to access facilities that were consistent with their gender identity. The students claimed that the school district’s policy violated their right to privacy and created a hostile school environment. Following an evidentiary hearing, the District Court rejected each of those claims. The students appealed.

On January 23, 2018, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, along with Cooley LLP and the Transgender Law Center, filed an amicus brief in support of the Boywertown Area School District in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Representing a coalition of organizations that work with families raising transgender youth, the brief tells the stories of families raising transgender children in states within the Third Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) and around the country. Through their triumphs and challenges, these families help humanize the experiences of transgender youth and underscoring the importance of transgender children being able to go to school in an environment that is safe, welcoming, and does not treat them differently because of who they are.

On June 18, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s findings that a transgender-inclusive policy does not violate the rights of nontransgender students. The plaintiffs appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which declined to review the Third Circuit’s opinion.