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Parents for Privacy v. Dallas School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 12, 2020
Status: Case Dismissed by 9th Circuit
Legal Team: ACLU, ACLU of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

Case Overview:

Parents for Privacy v. Dallas School District is a case concerning discrimination based on gender identity or expression in schools. Dallas School District in Oregon has long had a policy respecting the gender identity of transgender students – but in 2017 an anti-LGBTQ organization filed a lawsuit challenging this policy, on behalf of several non-transgender students, who claim their privacy is threatened by transgender students using the restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

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 transgender-inclusive policy in the case is being defended by the ACLU. The anti-LGBTQ group Parents for Privacy brought the case.

Latest in the Case:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard argument in the case on July 11 and ruled on February 12, 2020, affirming a lower court’s dismissal of the case. The appeals court held that the policy does not violate Title IX or any student’s or parent’s constitutional rights of privacy, religious freedom, or parenting.

Case History:

  • November 13, 2017: The organization Parents for Privacy files a lawsuit against a longstanding policy that protects transgender students from discrimination in Dallas School District in Oregon.
  • February 20, 2018: The ACLU and the ACLU of Oregon move to intervene in the case on behalf of Basic Rights Oregon (BRO). The organizations join defendants from the school district in filing a motion to dismiss the case.
  • July 28, 2018: U.S. District Court Judge Marco A. Hernández grants the motion to dismiss, writing, “A court order directing District to require students to use only facilities that match their biological sex or to use gender-neutral alternative facilities would violate Title IX.” Plaintiffs appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • July 11, 2019: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit hears oral argument in the case.
  • February 12, 2020: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously affirms the lower court ruling’s dismissal of the case. The appeals court held that the policy does not violate Title IX or any student’s or parent’s constitutional rights of privacy, religious freedom, or parenting.

Last Updated February 12, 2020

ACLU Case Page 9th Circuit Ruling, February 2020

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