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On September 7, 2016, a group of parents and students called Privacy Matters filed a complaint against the federal government, Independent School District No. 706 and the State of Minnesota in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. The complaint argues that the federal government has engaged in rule making without following the “procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.” Specifically, the complaint refers to a “series of Federal Guidelines that were sent to school districts between April 2014 and May 2016,” concerning Title IX and the accommodation of transgender students. The plaintiffs request declaratory and injunctive relief.

This case involves a specific school district in Minnesota that adopted a board policy relative to transgender students consistent with federal guidance. Following adoption of the policy, students were allowed to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity. The complaint argues that the adoption of the policy has had a severe and negative impact on the plaintiffs and has resulted in anxiety, stress, humiliation, embarrassment, intimidation, fear, apprehension and distress.

The complaint lists seven specific causes of action:

  1. Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act;
  2. Violation of Title IX;
  3. Violation of the Fundamental Right to Privacy;
  4. Violation of Parents’ Fundamental Right to Direct the Upbringing of Their Children;
  5. Violation of the First Amendment’s Guarantee of the Free Exercise of Religion;
  6. Violation of the Minnesota Constitution; and
  7. Violation of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The complaint makes several requests for declaratory and injunctive relief. Most notably, the complaint requests an injunction enjoining the federal government’s rules relative to Title IX and transgender students from having any legal effect.

Several lawsuits relating to transgender students are still pending and HLERK continues to follow and report on those cases and the legal issues surrounding transgender students.

Please contact Michelle Todd, Stephanie Jones, or Kaitlin Atlas with your transgender student inquiries and the most up-to-date information.