Fried Frank represented transgender students in connection with an amicus brief filed on their behalf in the Third Circuit. The brief was filed in support of the Boyertown Area School District, which implemented school policies that permitted transgender students to use school bathrooms and other facilities that accord with their gender identity. The District was sued by cisgender students who claimed that allowing transgender students to use the same facilities violated their privacy rights. Our brief summarized the stories of six transgender students illustrating that access to facilities has a significant impact on students' social, medical, psychological, and academic wellbeing. Students at schools with affirming policies flourished while students at schools without policies that grant them access struggled immensely.
The Third Circuit ruled from the bench in May, a rare occurrence, affirming the district court and denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining the school district from implementing the policy. The court then issued a precedential opinion issued this month which rejected plaintiffs' privacy rights argument and stated: “When transgender students face discrimination in schools, the risk to their wellbeing cannot be overstated—indeed, it can be life threatening. This record clearly supports the District Court's conclusion that the School district had a compelling state interest in protecting transgender students from discrimination.”
The Fried Frank team included real estate and litigation partner Janice Mac Avoy, litigation special counsel Jennifer L. Colyer, and litigation associates Shannon N. Doherty and J. Remy Green.