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Supreme Court’s School Transgender Case

January 6th, 2017

In October, the Supreme Court announced they would determine whether public schools could require transgender students to use the restroom for the gender they were born. A lower court in Virginia, where the teen in the case attends school, ordered that the teen who was born female but identifies as male be permitted to use the boys’ restroom for the duration of his senior year. His local school board petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling. The outcome of this case will affect not only the public-school system, but federal employees as well.

The transgender student sued the school after he was barred from using the boys’ bathroom. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in his favor, citing Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in public schools. This caused a backlash among several school districts who filed lawsuits, calling the ruling an overreach of the government.

School districts across the country are divided on how to handle transgender students and conflicting federal and state guidelines. While some institutions consider sex discrimination to include issues of gender identity, others do not. To complicate matters, the transition for transgender students is a fluid process. Some students may not yet appear to display the physical attributes of the gender with which they identify.

A Supreme Court Ruling is Pending

The Supreme Court will hear the case next year. The transgender student at the heart of the case is required to use the girls’ bathroom until he graduates, according to a temporary Supreme Court stay until the case is heard. While the student is doing the normal things high school seniors do, including planning for college, the highest court of the nation is preparing to make history.

Whatever happens with this case will inevitably affect the public sector, as employees will look to schools for direction on how to accommodate transgender employees. Where Title IX addresses sex discrimination in schools, Title VIII addresses it in the public workplace. Employers will need to tighten up their policies on sex discrimination in the workplace, and clarify how they treat transgender employees.

Chester County LGBT Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Fight LGBT Harassment

Chester County LGBT lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are dedicated to fighting LGBT harassment in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania. Every American has the right to protection from a hostile workplace. If an employer has discriminated against you based upon your race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identification, they need to be held accountable. Call our Center City Philadelphia offices at 215-569-1999 or complete our online contact form to discuss your situation. We proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey Pennsylvania, and New York. 

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