SCOTUS declines review of Oregon parents’ case against district’s policy on trans students

An effort by concerned parents in Oregon to challenge a school district’s policy regarding transgender students hit a snag this week at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The nation’s highest court announced on Monday that it would not be hearing the lawsuit over the controversial policy, as reported by The Hill.

“The constitutional impacts are exacerbated”

Plaintiffs brought the case against the Dallas School District in response to a policy they felt was unfair to other students in local schools.

The parents argued that by allowing transgender students to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities designated for their preferred sex, the district violated the rights of those with whom they shared those spaces. Their cause has already failed in court, and the ruling against

In their petition to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs wrote: “In this case, the constitutional impacts are exacerbated because the district: 1) prohibits students from objecting to the presence of opposite sex classmates in privacy facilities under threat of disciplinary action and 2) sends the message to students and parents that those who object are intolerant and bigoted.”

They continued by contending that 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.”

As the petition concluded, the “stakes in this case are significant for public school parents and children throughout the country.”

“An important and powerful message”

Many advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, however, praised the Supreme Court’s decision to deny an appeal.

Chase Strangio, the ACLU’s deputy director for trans justice said it amounted to a sign that justices believe “transgender youth are not a threat to other students.”

He went on to predict that “state legislative sessions” are likely to “continue the attacks on trans youth,” but pointed to “the decision not to take this case” as “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.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden weighed in on the hot-button issue on the campaign trail, pledging to reinstate an Obama-era rule allowing transgender students access to facilities and sports teams aligning with their gender identity.

For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke approvingly of that promise when asked about it during a recent press conference. Asked whether she believed Biden would “have the power to unilaterally do this” if he becomes president, the speaker said she thought he would.

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