B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education

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Status: Open
Court:
United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Issues: Transgender Rights, Youth and Schools

“I know how hurtful a law like this is to all kids like me who just want to play sports with their classmates, and I’m doing this for them. Trans kids deserve better.”

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The lawsuit is brought by and on behalf of 11-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson. Pepper-Jackson comes from a family of avid runners and was looking forward to trying out for the girls’ cross-country team as she prepared to start middle school when Gov. Jim Justice signed HB 3293 into law. In elementary school, Pepper-Jackson was a member of the cheer team for the local youth football league. 

“I just want to run, I come from a family of runners,” said Pepper-Jackson. “I know how hurtful a law like this is to all kids like me who just want to play sports with their classmates, and I’m doing this for them. Trans kids deserve better.”

HB 3293 was one of hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills pushed in state legislatures across the country in 2021. During legislative debate, it was not endorsed by any mainstream sporting or health organizations. A similar law in Idaho was blocked by a federal court in 2020 and a federal court in Connecticut recently dismissed a challenge to policies that allow all girls, including girls who are transgender, to participate on girls’ sports teams.