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M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: June 18, 2018
Status: Case Settled
Legal Team: FreeState Justice, ACLU and ACLU of MD
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

Case Overview:

M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County is a case concerning discrimination based on gender identity or expression in schools. St. Michaels Middle-High School in Maryland is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including M.A.B., a transgender boy, with regard to sex-segregated facilities such as restrooms.

This case is about respecting transgender students for who they are and is a part of the growing legislative and legal momentum against restricting restroom access for transgender Americans.

The case is being led by FreeState Justice, Inc, with ACLU and ACLU of Maryland joining as co-counsel.

Latest in the Case:

In March 2018 U.S. District Court Judge George L. Russell, III denied the school’s Motion to Dismiss the case, keeping the challenge alive by determining that M.A.B. is permitted to seek protection on the grounds of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.

The order also denied without prejudice plaintiffs’ request for a Preliminary Injunction, explaining that since the student does not have physical education class until September, there is no immediate harm and need for an immediate block to the policy. If no final decision on the merits is reached before September, the plaintiff may renew the request for a preliminary injunction.

The judge wrote: “M.A.B.’s claims come down to a boy asking his school to treat him just like any other boy. This Court finds that Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause provide M.A.B. grounds to do so.”

Case History:

  • July 19, 2016: Plaintiffs file the initial complaint in the case.
  • May 22, 2017: Plaintiffs file a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, seeking immediate relief for M.A.B.
  • March 12, 2018: U.S. District Court Judge George L. Russell, III denies the school’s Motion to Dismiss the case, keeping the challenge alive by determining that M.A.B. is permitted to seek protection on the grounds of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.
  • March 23, 2018: defendants notify M.A.B.’s attorneys that “M.A.B. will be allowed to use the same locker rooms and other sex-separated facilities as the other boys at St. Michaels Middle-High School.”
  • May 5, 2018: Plaintiffs file an Amended Complaint.
  • June 18, 2018: Parties settle the case. The ACLU wrote, “Under the settlement agreement, Max will have permanent access to restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities owned and/or operated by the Board of Education that are otherwise designated for boys or men.”

Last Updated July 29, 2018

Equality Case Files: Docket Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

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