Supreme Court denies review of school transgender bathroom policy

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a challenge by Oregon parents to public school policies allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

By declining to hear the case, the justices preserved a federal appeals court’s decision to permit transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms associated with their gender identity instead of their sex assigned at birth.

Parents brought the case against the Dallas School District in Oregon in 2017 after a transgender student was permitted to use the boys’ bathrooms and locker room at the high school.


The parents alleged that the district’s policy violated the privacy and constitutional rights of other students.

A lower court initially refused to strike down the school district’s policy, prompting the parents to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.

“The District’s directive interferes with parents’ rights to direct the upbringing of their children, schoolchildren’s rights to bodily privacy, parents’ and children’s free exercise of religion, and children’s rights to be free from hostile educational environments under Title IX,” the parents said in their petition for appeal.

The Dallas School District said in court documents that the parents’ appeal had “innumerable shortcomings” and their argument was “moot since the transgender boy graduated long ago.” 

The Supreme Court’s denial of review on Monday means the Oregon parents’ petition for appeal failed to gain support from at least four justices.

The American Civil Liberties Union applauded the high court’s decision, with Chase Strangio, the deputy director for trans justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, saying justices determined “that transgender youth are not a threat to other students.”


“As we look towards state legislative sessions that will likely continue the attacks on trans youth, the decision not to take this case is an important and powerful message to trans and non-binary youth that they deserve to share space with and enjoy the benefits of school alongside their non-transgender peers,” Strangio said in a statement.

The Supreme Court’s move on Monday comes after President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump taps Conway, Chao to government posts in waning days of administration Pelosi, Schumer hit Trump but cite ‘progress’ in COVID relief talks House GOP leader trolls Democrats over reduced majority MORE’s Education Department rejected Obama-era informal guidance for schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms associated with their gender identity.

Updated at 10:51 a.m.