Wisconsin's Kenosha Unified School District on Friday filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting a decision on transgender students' bathroom rights under Title IX or the U.S. Constitution, Education Week reports.
In its appeal, the district noted the need for clarification around "the conflicting decisions by various courts, guidance which has been issued and withdrawn by the [U.S.] Department of Education, and the lack of any other definitive answers."
The district's request follows the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit's decision in Kenosha Unified School District v. Whitaker upholding an injunction that allowed 17-year-old Ashton Whitaker, who was born as a girl and began identifying as a boy four years ago, to use the bathroom of his choice on the grounds that school officials had violated his Title IX and 14th Amendment rights in not allowing him to do so.
Transgender students' bathroom rights have been a hot topic for much of the past year after the Obama administration issued guidance detailing protections under Title IX’s restrictions on gender discrimination. More than a dozen states filed suit against the administration over the directive, which was ultimately rescinded earlier this year by the Trump administration.
In the midst of the heated debate, the U.S. Supreme Court had been set to take on the high-profile case of Virginia student Gavin Grimm, who was denied the right to use the bathroom of his choice. The court ultimately sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit when the Trump administration reversed course on the previously issued guidance, and it was then sent back to federal district court upon Grimm's graduation from high school.
It seems inevitable, however, that the Supreme Court will have to provide a final decision sooner or later, whether it's the case of Grimm, Whitaker or another student.