Attorney General Tong Defends Efforts to Protect Transgender Students' Privacy
16 State Attorneys General Signed Brief in Support of Massachusetts School District’s Policy on Transgender Students’ Privacy Rights(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong joined a coalition of 16 state attorneys general in an amicus brief supporting schools’ ability to protect the privacy of transgender students who have shared their identity with school staff.
The brief, filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Foote et al. v. Ludlow School Committee et al., argues in support of the Ludlow, Massachusetts school district’s practice of only sharing information on a student’s transgender or gender-nonconforming identity with the student’s parents if the student consents.
“Outing students against their will is dangerous. Students -- especially LGBTQ+ youth who may lack support at home – need trusted adults to have their backs. I stand with attorneys general across the country in full support of Ludlow’s efforts to protect the privacy and safety of all of their students,” said Attorney General Tong.
The coalition of attorneys general argue that requiring schools to out students against their will would undermine the trust between students and teachers, creating impracticable administrative burdens for schools and improperly inserting school officials into private conversations that should be between parents and children. The brief calls on the First Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a lower court decision dismissing the lawsuit against Ludlow Public Schools.
According to research published and aggregated by the Trevor Project and discussed in the attorneys generals’ brief, LGBTQ+ youth who report the presence of trusted adults in their school have higher self-esteem than those without access to a trusted adult. And LGBTQ+ youth who found their school and home to be affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
The amicus brief was led by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and joined by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.