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Jane Doe v. Highland Local School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 22, 2018 • 6th Circuit Rejects Anti-LGBTQ Request for Stay of Lower Court Ruling
Legal Team: National Center for Lesbian Rights
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Case Overview:

Jane Doe v. Highland Local School District is a case concerning discrimination based on gender identity or expression in schools. Highland Local Schools in Ohio is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender girl, Jane Doe. Following an investigation by the United States Department of Education, the District was found to be violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The school district filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education, prompting Jane and her family to intervene in the case. Jane also filed a motion for preliminary injunction, asking a federal judge to order Highland Local Schools to allow her to use the girl’s restroom.

This case is about respecting transgender students for who they are and is a part of the growing legislative and legal momentum against restricting restroom access for transgender Americans.

The case is being led by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Latest in the Case:

The case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which has not yet scheduled oral argument in the case.

The 6th Circuit reviewed a September 26, 2016 ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley, who wrote, “The Court orders School District officials to treat Jane Doe as the girl she is, including referring to her by female pronouns and her female name and allowing her to use the girls’ restroom at Highland Elementary School.” On December 16, the 6th Circuit rejected anti-LGBTQ requests to place a hold on this ruling, meaning that Jane Doe could use the girls’ restroom throughout the school year.

The case was settled and resolved on February 22, 2018.

Case History:

  • September 26, 2016: District Court judge rules in favor of Jane Doe, ordering the school district to allow the young transgender girl to use the girls’ restroom. Anti-LGBTQ opponents appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and request a “stay” on the positive ruling.
  • December 16, 2016: The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denies the request for a stay in the case, writing, “We are not convinced that Highland has made its required showing of a likelihood of success on appeal.”
  • February 22, 2018: Case is settled and resolved.

Last Updated June 15, 2018

NCLR Case Page Ruling from Judge Algenon L. Marbley in Favor of Jane Doe Equality Case Files: Case History

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