Claims involving transgender rights are an emerging area of case law and are beginning to gain significant attention in the U.S. The topic is of particular importance in schools and universities where transgender students are repeatedly subject to discrimination with few remedies. Students determined to be treated in accordance with their gender identity often request to use the restrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. If the students do so without permission, the students face punishment, expulsion from school, and even criminal charges. Although there is little case law on transgender student rights, most cases to have addressed the issue are flawed.
This Comment analyzes the two most effective avenues of recovery for transgender students who suffer discrimination: Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause, and explains how these laws can afford protection to transgender students. Additionally, this Comment explains how transgender discrimination is the same as sex discrimination and why the terms "sex" and "gender" should be treated interchangeably. This Comment also advocates for recognition of transgender persons as part of the quasi-suspect "gender" class, or for LGBT persons to be recognized as a quasi-suspect class on their own. Furthermore, with the ultimate goal of recognizing transgender student rights and eliminating transgender discrimination, this Comment recommends that schools replace shared, sex-segregated facilities with single-user, unisex facilities.
Vittoria L. Buzzelli,
Transforming Transgender Rights in Schools: Protection from Discrimination Under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause,
Dick. L. Rev.
Available at: https://ideas.dickinsonlaw.psu.edu/dlra/vol121/iss1/6