A.G. Schneiderman Leads Coalition Of 18 AGs In Support Of Transgender Student Discriminated Against By School District

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

May 16, 2017

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Attorneys General File Brief In G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, Which Will Be Heard By Fourth Circuit 

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 18 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in support of a transgender student named Gavin Grimm, who is suing the Gloucester County School Board for discrimination.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which will hear the case and determine whether the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting transgender boys and girls from using restrooms that other boys and girls use discriminates against transgender students on the basis of sex, in violation of Title IX.

“No student – no matter how they identify – should have to worry about discrimination or bullying when at school,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “School districts have a basic responsibility to protect their students – and that includes providing transgender students access to the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.”

The Attorneys General argue in the amicus brief that ensuring the civil rights of transgender people – including by allowing them access to the restrooms consistent with their gender identity – benefits all, while creating no public safety or personal privacy threat and imposing no meaningful financial burden. Moreover, the Attorneys General argue, the Gloucester County School Board’s policy violates Title IX by denying transgender boys and girls access to the same common restrooms other boys and girls may use – and therefore discriminating on the basis of sex.

“If entities receiving Title IX funds are allowed to discriminate in this way, transgender people will be denied equality in defendant’s schools and in many other places. The amici States have important interests in ensuring that their transgender populations do not experience indignity and discrimination when they travel to other States,” the Attorneys General write.

The amicus brief, filed last night, was authored by Attorney General Schneiderman and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and signed by a total of 18 Attorneys General: New York, Washington, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

Read the brief here.

The amicus brief follows other steps taken to protect the civil rights of transgender individuals – including guidance issued by Attorney General Schneiderman and the New York State Education Department, making clear that they will use all the existing tools of federal, state, and local law to ensure transgender students are provided equal access in their schools.