Scroll To Top

Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Ohio School District’s Pro-Trans Policies

Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Ohio School District’s Pro-Trans Policies

Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Ohio School District’s Anti-Harassment Policies

The judge wrote of the difficulties faced by transgender youth.

A lawsuit from a conservative group challenging an Ohio school district’s anti-bullying policies that protect transgender students was thrown out of a federal court yesterday, saying it was unlikely to succeed on a key constitutional claim.

The Virginia-based, conservative education activist group Parents Defending Education (PDE) had filed the lawsuit claiming the anti-bullying policies of the Olentangy Local School District just north of Columbus are overly broad and violate a student’s protected First Amendment free speech rights when it forbids misgendering trans youth, according to local NBC affiliate WCMH. The policies also extend to student, teacher, and parent interactions in person and on social media when outside of school.

“Transgender youth are far too often subject to harassment and bullying in public schools,” U.S. District Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley wrote in the ruling, saying PDE had failed to prove its claims. “They are threatened or physically injured in schools at a rate four times higher than other students. They are harassed verbally at extraordinarily higher rates. More than one in five attempt suicide.”

“Today’s decision affirms our commitment to maintaining a safe learning environment where all feel welcome and supported,” the district said in a statement. “We will continue to do so and are looking forward to another great school year.”

In its lawsuit, PDE had argued it was not asking to “impose a speech policy requiring students to use only pronouns correlative with biological sex” but was instead asking the district “stop compelling speech one way or another.”

PDE also claimed the district’s anti-harassment policies are overly broad and allow the district to “punish speech among friends or conversations between parents.” The group also claimed in the lawsuit that, “Instead of punishing ‘severe’ bullying conduct, the policies reach whatever speech that the school or another student subjectively finds, among other things, to be ‘disparag[ing],’ ‘disruptive,’ ‘inappropriate,’ or ‘derogatory’.”

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Donald Padgett