Adams v. The School Board of St. Johns County, Florida
Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against the St. Johns County School Board in St. Augustine, FL, a suburb of Jacksonville, on behalf of Andrew Adams, who was being denied access to the boys’ restroom, and his mother Erica Adams Kasper.
Andrew was a 16-year-old transgender boy, and would begin his junior year at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, FL when he returned to school in August 2017. He’s an honor student who wants to attend medical school to become a psychiatrist. He is active in his local community as a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic. He plays four musical instruments, enjoys video games, and has several pets, including two rats named Biscuit and Noodle. He says he just wants to be treated like any other boy.
Andrew has been living as the boy that he is since 2015. He used the boys’ restroom when he started his freshman year without any incident. But after someone anonymously reported he was using the boys’ restroom, he was told he could only use the gender neutral restrooms, which separates him from his peers and treats him as unfit to share communal facilities with others.
Lambda Legal argues that St. John County School Board’s discriminatory restroom policy sends a purposeful message that transgender students in the school district are undeserving of the privacy, respect and protections afforded to other students. Lambda Legala also argues that the school district’s policy to exclude transgender students from the restrooms that match their gender is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on sex in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act.
In July of 2018, a federal court ruled that Andrew must be allowed to use the correct restroom.
- June 2017: Lambda Legal files lawsuit.
- July 2018: Victory! Federal court rules Andrew must be allowed to use the correct restroom.
- March 2019: St. Johns County School Board appeals the lower court’s decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- August 2020: Victory! Eleventh Circuit rules school must treat transgender students equally in restrooms
Motion for Leave to File Brief for Amici Curiae Airbnb, Inc., Apple, Asana, Inc., Credo Mobile INC., Deutsche Bank AG, Ebay INC., General Assembly Space, Inc., Github, Inc., Glassdoor, Inc., Etc... (10/16/2019)