School Law Update: United States Department of Education and United States Department of Justice file “Statement of Interest” in pending transgender discrimination case, supporting transgender student’s Title IX/Equal Protection Clause Claims

Recently the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice (“the Departments”) filed a “Statement of Interest” in a federal transgender discrimination lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Tooley v. Van Buren Public Schools, case no. 2:14-cv-13466-AC-DRG (E.D. Mich.) The complaint alleges that the plaintiff, who was a female at birth, but whose gender identity is male, was discriminated against by the school district.  The allegations of transgender discrimination against the school include that the student was prohibited from using the bathroom of the gender in which the student identified, and was bullied by his peers due to his gender identity.  The Departments ask the Court to “hold that the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause encompasses discrimination on the basis of transgender status, gender identity, and sex stereotyping” and to deny the school’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on those grounds.

For more information regarding transgender issues in schools, please contact Peter K. Wilson, Bernard K. Weiler, Jessica L. Briney, or Laura M. Julien, of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson, P.C., 2111 Plum Street, Suite 201, Aurora, Illinois 60506. Telephone Number:630-801-9699, or by E-mail at: pkw@mickeywilson.com; bkw@mickeywilson.com; jlb@mickeywilson.com; and lmj@mickeywilson.com

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