An Oregon public school district’s policy protecting the rights of transgender students will stay in place thanks to action by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court on Dec. 7 announced it will not hear a further legal challenge to the Dallas School District’s policy, which grants transgender students access to school bathrooms, locker rooms and other sexually segregated spaces in accordance with their gender identity.

A group called Parents Rights in Education opposed the policy, arguing that it violated the rights of other students. Among their arguments was a claim that allowing rights to transgender students would infringe on the religious freedom rights of students who are not transgender.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the policy, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal means that the legal action is over.

Andy Bellando, superintendent of the Dallas School District, told The Washington Blade that he was pleased the case has concluded.

“The mission of Dallas School District is to provide the highest quality education, ensuring every student develops the academic, functional, professional-technical, and social-emotional skills necessary to succeed in life,” Bellando said. “This most recent decision aligns with our mission.”

Basic Rights Oregon, an LGBTQ group in the state, filed a petition telling the high court there was no reason to accept the case. The group noted that the transgender student who sparked the policy has since graduated. Since then, no other students at the school have identified as transgender.

Americans United filed a court brief in the case when it was before the 9th  Circuit, arguing that the school’s policy was legal. (Parents for Privacy v. Barr)

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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