New Federal Victory Brings Transgender Students Closer to Equality

One week ago, two federal courts delivered victories for transgender students.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a ruling that a Florida school district was wrong in their decision to deny a trans male student access to a school's boys' restroom.

Judge Beverly Martin declared that “A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity. Neither may a public school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use. The evidence at trial confirms that Mr. Adams suffered both these indignities. The record developed in the District Court shows that the School Board failed to honor Mr. Adams’s rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX.”

Judge Martin cited the Supreme Court’s ruling that sex discrimination in the workplace includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. According to Judge Martin, “Neither should this discrimination be tolerated in schools.”

Drew Adams, the student who brought the case wrote, “I am very happy to see justice prevail, after spending almost my entire high school career fighting for equal treatment. High school is hard enough without having your school separate you from your peers and mark you as inferior. I hope this decision helps save other transgender students from having to go through that painful and humiliating experience.”