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3rd Circuit Provides Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Policy

On June 22, 2018 by Schnader

On June 18, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Doe v. Boyertown Area School District upheld Boyertown Area School District’s policy which allows transgender students to use restroom and locker rooms that match their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

Prior to the 2016-2017 school year, the school district required students to use locker and restroom facilities that aligned with their birth-determined sex. The district changed this policy in 2016, permitting transgender students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.

The plaintiffs, several students who are cisgender – those who identify as being the same sex they were determined to have at birth – sought an injunction to stop enforcement of the district’s new policy after they encountered transgender students in locker rooms or multi-user bathrooms. They alleged the policy violated their constitutional right to bodily privacy, violated Title IX, and Pennsylvania’s invasion of privacy tort law. The District Court denied the requested injunction, finding that plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on their claims. The Third Circuit agreed.

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