Transgender case in Berks County school district heads to court

A sign marks the entrance to a gender-neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. (Toby Talbot/AP Photo, file)

A sign marks the entrance to a gender-neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. (Toby Talbot/AP Photo, file)

A federal appeals court hearing is slated to start Thursday on a lawsuit challenging a Berks County School District’s policy for transgender students.

It’s one of three cases involving transgender equality which will be heard across the nation this week.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will be hearing a case in which a Boyertown Area School District student identified as Joel Doe is challenging a school district policy.

National American Civil Liberties Union Senior Staff Attorney Ria Mar says it allows transgender students to use restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity on a case-by-case basis.

“What the students, like Joel Doe, are asking for in the Boyertown case (is) they are asking the court to order the school to bar transgender students from common spaces,” she says. “One of the reasons that the trial judge found that would be improper is because doing that, in itself, would be illegal.”

In the Boyertown case, Joel Doe claims the transgender policy is a violation of his privacy.

The other two cases involving transgender equality which will be heard are in Montana and Oregon.

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