Eleventh Circuit Update Transgender Bathroom

By: Adria Lynn Silva on July 24, 2021

 

In Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, Florida, the Eleventh Circuit, vacating and revising an earlier decision in Adams ex rel. Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County, 968 F.3d 1286 (11th Cir. 2020), held that School Board violated the student’s rights under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. The student is a transgender male who was prevented from using the boys’ restroom while he was in high school. Specifically, the Court held:

We affirm the District Court’s judgment. We conclude the School District’s policy barring Mr. Adams from the boys’ restroom violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, because the School District assigns students to sex[1] specific bathrooms in an arbitrary manner. We affirm the District Court’s award of damages because Mr. Adams undoubtedly suffered harm as a result of this violation.

Having found liability under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause, the Court declined to reach the issue of gender discrimination under Title IX.