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Metropolitan School District of Martinsville v. A.C.

Location: Indiana
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: April 12, 2024

What's at Stake

Alongside his parents, A.C., a boy who was barred from using the boys’ restroom with the other boys because he is transgender, has sued his Indiana school district for violating his right under federal law to attend school.

A.C. is a transgender boy who attended a middle school within the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Indiana, who was barred from using the boys’ restrooms with other boys.

Starting in 2021, A.C. was required to use either the girls’ restrooms or the single-person restroom in the nurse’s office, which was far from his classes.

Representing both A.C. and his parents, the ACLU of Indiana sued the school district and challenged these policies under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments. Federal courts have consistently held that excluding transgender students from restrooms consistent with their gender identity violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.

In an August 2023 opinion, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that the school district failed to provide A.C. 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. This follows a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that discrimination against transgender workers by employers is a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits sex discrimination in employment.

The school district filed a petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2023 and the ACLU of Indiana filed an opposition brief in December 2023.

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