Supreme Court declines to hear Indiana school district's appeal of transgender rights case

Jan. 18, 2024
A Court of Appeals ruled last year that the Martinsville district violated a transgender student's rights when it refused to let him use bathrooms that reflect his gender identity.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of an Indiana dispute over whether schools can ban transgender students from using a bathroom that reflects their gender identity.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the high court's action leaves in place a lower court ruling that allowed a transgender middle school boy to use the boys' bathroom.

The case involves a lawsuit filed in December 2021. It contended that the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville discriminated against a seventh-grade transgender student when it would not grant him access to bathrooms reflective of his gender identity.

The lawsuit also asserted that school staff and administrators regularly misused the boy's pronouns.

According to the ACLU of Indiana, which represented the boy in the lawsuit, the boy was required to use either the girls’ restrooms or the single-person restroom in the nurse’s office, which was far from his classes.

In an August 2023 opinion, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Martinsville school district failed to provide the boy with access to restroom consistent with his gender in violation of his rights under Title IX, the law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs, and the Equal Protection Clause.

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