Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 16 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief supporting schools’ ability to protect the privacy of transgender students who have shared their identity with school staff. The brief is filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Foote et al. v. Ludlow School Committee et al. and argues in support of the Ludlow, Massachusetts school district’s practice of only sharing information on a student’s transgender or gender-nonconforming identity with the student’s parents if the student consents.
“Too many transgender students face bullying and discrimination on a daily basis, leading to lower self-esteem and increased risks of self-harm,” Raoul said. “During Pride Month and throughout the year, I will continue to partner with attorneys general from across the country to protect transgender youth and stand against hate and bigotry directed at the LGBTQ+ community.”
In their brief, Raoul and the coalition argue that requiring schools to share information about students’ gender identity with parents against students’ wishes would cause a number of harms, including undermining the trust between students and teachers, creating impracticable administrative burdens for schools, and improperly inserting school officials into private conversations that should take place within the family unit. The brief calls on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a lower court decision dismissing the lawsuit against Ludlow Public Schools.
According to research published and aggregated by The Trevor Project and highlighted in Raoul’s brief, LGBTQ+ youth who report the presence of trusted adults in their school have higher self-esteem than those without access to a trusted adult, including among those who lack support from their family. And LGBTQ+ youth who found their school and home to be affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
Today’s announcement is Attorney General Raoul’s latest action to defend the rights of transgender and LGBTQ+ youth. In May, Raoul joined a coalition supporting a challenge to a Florida rule prohibiting Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming care. Raoul also joined a coalition in support of a West Virginia student by challenging a state law banning transgender female students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. In addition, Attorney General Raoul joined coalitions of attorneys general supporting LGBTQ+ students against discrimination in the classroom, filing legal briefs opposing an Indiana school district’s efforts to bar a transgender student from using the restroom consistent with the student’s gender identity, and against Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law, which limits classroom discussions and has serious implications for LGBTQ+ students.
Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.