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Case

Doe v. Boyertown Area School District

Last Updated: 5/29/2020

Overview

What's at stake

  • Protecting the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students.

Summary

Without informing students or their parents, the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania changed its policy to allow students who identify with the opposite sex to access opposite-sex privacy facilities. In October 2016, Joel Doe was changing for gym in the boys’ locker room, and noticed a female student (who identifies as a male) also changing in the locker room. Both students were in a state of undress. When Doe reported the incident to his assistant principal, he was told to “tolerate it” and “make it as natural as possible." Subsequently, Alexis Lightcap encountered a boy washing his hands in the girls’ bathroom. She, too, reported the incident, but the school administration took no action.

On November 19, 2018, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing these Pennsylvania students and their parents, along with Independence Law Center, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their case. Unfortunately, the High Court declined to hear the case for now, sending it back to the trial court for additional proceedings. 

Our role in this case

ADF attorneys are co-counsel in the case.

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Resources

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
{"docs": [{"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Notice of appeal", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---notice-of-appeal.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 9:03:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Motion for and brief in support of preliminary injunction", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---motion-for-and-brief-in-support-of-preliminary-injunction.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 9:03:16 PM"}, {"Court": "SupremeCourt", "Title": "Petition for writ of certiorari", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---supreme-court-cert-petition.pdf", "Date": "11/19/2018 8:23:57 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Vacated 3rd Circuit panel opinion", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---3rd-circuit-opinion.pdf", "Date": "7/11/2018 5:48:57 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Preliminary injunction decision", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---preliminary-injunction-decision.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 9:03:16 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Opening brief filed with 3rd Circuit", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---opening-brief-filed-with-3rd-circuit.pdf", "Date": "11/13/2017 4:49:47 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Order granting panel rehearing and denying rehearing en banc (with dissent)", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---order-granting-panel-rehearing-and-denying-rehearing-en-banc-(with-dissent).pdf", "Date": "7/26/2018 3:52:35 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Revised 3rd Circuit panel opinion", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---revised-3rd-circuit-panel-opinion.pdf", "Date": "7/26/2018 3:52:35 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Complaint", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---complaint.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 9:03:16 PM"}, {"Court": "TrialCourt", "Title": "Amended complaint", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-v-boyertown-area-school-district---amended-complaint.pdf", "Date": "10/30/2017 9:03:16 PM"}, {"Court": "AppellateCourt", "Title": "Petition for rehearing en banc", "FileName": "https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/doe-v.-boyertown-area-school-district/doe-boyertown-enbanc-appeal-notice-7-2-18.pdf", "Date": "7/2/2018 4:21:29 PM"}]}

Biographies

Christiana Holcomb

Legal Counsel

Christiana Holcomb serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Christian Ministries.

John Bursch

Vice President of Appellate Advocacy, Senior Counsel

John Bursch is vice president of appellate advocacy and senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.


Additional Resources

 

Watch: Meet Alexis Lightcap:

Alexis Lightcap: Girls and boys shouldn't do everything together (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2018-05-24)

Kellie Fiedorek: Dignity and fairness matter for every child in the locker room (Daily Signal, 2017-04-14)

Bio: Randall Wenger and Jeremy Samek

 
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