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NEA reacts to Supreme Court sending back case to protect rights of transgender student

WASHINGTON - March 06, 2017 -

The United States Supreme Court today returned to the lower court a case involving the rights of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student from Virginia. The National Education Association and a coalition of national organizations representing a broad swath of education professionals—employees who interact with students everywhere from the bus stop to after-school programs and everything in between—last week filed a friend of the court brief asking the United States Supreme Court to protect the rights of transgender students.

The filing of the brief comes on the heels of a dangerous and irresponsible Trump administration decision to rescind federal guidance advising schools districts to comply with their legal obligations to protect transgender students from discrimination. Withdrawing the federal guidance didn’t change the law, but it did highlight the need for the Supreme Court to step in. The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Lily Eskelsen García:

“We, as educators, have a moral, legal, and professional duty to support all students, including our transgender students, and nothing about the Supreme Court’s decision today to remand Gavin’s case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit changes that.

“While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court deferred deciding whether Gavin’s rights were violated when he was discriminated against at school for being transgender, we are confident that the Fourth Circuit, and eventually the Supreme Court, will ultimately vindicate his rights.

“Most courts have already concluded that federal law protects transgender students, and we fully expect that the Fourth Circuit will agree."

To learn more about supporting transgender students in K-12, please click on the following NEA report titled “Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 schools.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at



CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez, NEA Communications
(202) 491-9532,


Educators urge U.S. Supreme Court to protect rights of transgender students