80 School Administrators & Districts File Brief in Trans Rights Supreme Court Case

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March 2, 2017
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Photo by: ACLU/Scout Tufankjian
Gavin Grimm

Lambda Legal submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court today in a case brought by the ACLU on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student barred from using the boy's room in Gloucester County, Va., public schools.

Lambda Legal filed the brief with the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP on behalf of school administrators and school districts who have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, inclusive policies for their transgender students.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Gloucester County School Board’s discriminatory restroom policy segregating transgender students from their peers is unlawful. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.

"The real world examples included in our brief demonstrate one simple truth: inclusive policies work," said Lambda Legal Counsel Tara Borelli. "Schools that allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity consistently report that all students — not just transgender students — benefit from policies that respect gender identity and encourage inclusivity."

"Across the country, forward-thinking schools and school districts are proving the fearmongers wrong," Borelli added. "Their experiences show that respectful and inclusive policies create active and engaged student bodies."

The brief includes superintendents, principals and other school officials from 31 states and the District of Columbia, whose districts are collectively responsible for 2.1 million students.

The brief gives a voice to school administrators who have years of experience with inclusive policies and have seen firsthand the positive impact of these policies on their students and schools. Their experiences show clearly that the hypothetical fears raised by the Gloucester School Board in this case are not grounded in reality.

“If [transgender kids are] worrying about the restroom, they’re not fully there to learn, but instead just trying to navigate their day,” said David Vannasdall, Superintendent for Arcadia Unified School District in California, in the brief. “Give students the opportunity to just be a kid, to use the bathroom, and know that it’s not a disruption, it just makes sense.”

Read the press release.