Aidan DeStefano smiles after the Boyertown school board's vote last Monday to uphold the district policy in support of transgender students. (photo by the author)
The ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania announced Monday that they will be defending the Boyertown Area School District's practice of allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that coincide with their gender identity and have filed legal motions to that effect. The announcement comes in response to a lawsuit filed against the district by an unnamed high school student and his family with support from two conservative groups, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom and Harrisburg-based Independence Law Center, which claim the plaintiff’s privacy rights have been violated.
The ACLU has joined the fight “so that the transgender students have a voice,” according to ACLU of PA deputy legal director, Mary Catherine Roper. The suit has been filed on behalf of transgender student Aiden DeStefano (not the student involved in the original lawsuit) and on the behalf of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress. “Transgender students just want what everyone else wants, to be accepted for who we are,” DeStefano says. “Reversing the practices that have allowed me and other trans kids to thrive at school would be devastating.”
The Boyertown case has spurred other districts in the area to consider their own policies in regard to transgender issues. Many schools are waiting to see the outcome in pending Federal cases, in particular Evancho vs. Pine-Richland School District in Western PA.
For more on this story read: ACLU backs Boyertown schools in transgender lawsuit
posted by Amy Levengood