G. G. v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd.

822 F.3d 709 (4th Cir. 2016)



Not all distinctions on the basis of sex are impermissible under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C.S. § 1681 et seq. However, such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provided for students of the other sex. 34 C.F.R. § 106.33. In an opinion letter dated January 7, 2015, the Department's Office for Civil Rights wrote: When a school elects to separate or treat students differently on the basis of sex a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.


G.G., a transgender boy, tried to use the boys' restrooms at his high school. After G.G. began to use the boys' restrooms with the approval of the school administration, the local school board passed a policy banning G.G. from the boys' restroom. G.G. alleges that the school board impermissibly discriminated against him in violation of his right to education and the Equal Protection Clause. The district court dismissed the right to education claim and denied his request for a preliminary injunction. Hence, this appeal.


Was it proper for the court to dismiss his right to education claim?




The Court held that the district court did not accord appropriate deference to the relevant Department of Education regulations, and reversed its dismissal of G.G.'s right to education claim. The Court concluded that the district court used the wrong evidentiary standard in assessing G.G.'s motion for a preliminary injunction, the denial was vacated and remanded for consideration under the correct standard. Case was reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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