Since before the turn of the twenty-first century, it is undeniable that classrooms across the country have undergone a multitude of changes. In 2020, schooling continued through a global pandemic—forcing teachers and students alike to improvise, adapt, and overcome challenges both in the classroom and in their own homes. Now that teachers and students are attempting to return to “normal,” federal courts across the country have passed down a number of decisions that will impact students’ return to the classroom. Specifically, the Supreme Court of the United States’ landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, (Bostock) has paved the way for recognition and expansion of civil rights among the LGBTQI+ community.
In light of Bostock, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided Adams by and through Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County (Adams I). In Adams I, a transgender student, Drew Adams, challenged the St. Johns County School District’s bathroom policy that forbid him from using the boys’ restroom and instead Adams was provided the opportunity to use the multi-stall girls’ restroom or a single-stall gender-neutral bathroom. The Eleventh Circuit initially ruled in Adams’s favor, on August 7, 2020, concluding that the bathroom policy violated Title IX. The initial opinion was later vacated by a subsequent opinion, Adams II, issued on July 14, 2021, “[i]n an effort to get broader support among our colleagues[.]”
To further complicate the matter, Adams II was vacated on August 23, 2021, so that the matter could be heard by the Eleventh Circuit en banc. Consequently, schools are now left with some uncertainty as to how the Eleventh Circuit will ultimately address this issue. This Article will discuss Bostock, Adams, and their progeny and will provide guidance on broaching these issues and other issues that may arise within a school setting.
White, William A. and Collum, M. Chase
"From Bostock to Adams: Following the Expansion of Rights for Transgender Students in Public School Settings,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 73:
3, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol73/iss3/8