The ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a motion to intervene on behalf of a transgender student and an LGBTQ youth organization. They seek to defend the Boyertown Area School District’s practice of allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

In March 2017, the Boyertown Area School District was sued by a student identified by the pseudonym Joel Doe. The complaint claims that allowing transgender boys to use the same facilities that Doe uses is a violation of Doe’s privacy.

The ACLU represents Aidan DeStefano, a student at Boyertown Area Senior High who is transgender, and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, a coalition of LGBTQ youth leaders and youth organizations. One of the organizations is the Boyertown Gay-Straight Alliance, whose members include transgender students who would be harmed by the lawsuit.

“It’s important that trans students are given the opportunity to defend themselves against these shameful attempts to isolate and stigmatize them,” said Leslie Cooper, senior staff attorney at the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. “Schools can and should provide extra privacy protections or private restroom or changing areas for any student who requests it. But no student has a right to demand that transgender students be segregated from their peers.”

Update:  On May 24, 2018, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a bench decision affirming the District Court’s denial of Plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction, rejecting their argument that allowing trans boys and girls to use the same facilities as other boys and girls violates cisgender students’ right to privacy or otherwise causes them harm.

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