The Boyertown Area School District respects its students' gender identity. Among other things, the Boyertown Area Senior High (“BASH”) has allowed students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. In March 2017, the district was sued by a student identified as Joel Doe, with counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Independence Law Center, who claims that allowing transgender students to use the same facilities that he uses is a violation of Doe’s privacy.

On April 4, 2017, the ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Aidan DeStefano, a 12th grade student at Boyertown Area Senior High who is transgender, and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress,  a coalition of LGBTQ youth leaders and youth organizations, including the Boyertown GSA, whose members include transgender students who would be harmed by the lawsuit.

On August 25, 2017, a federal district court in Easton, Pennsylvania, upheld the district's practice. The plaintiffs appealed that decision, and on May 24, 2018, arguments were heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The appeals court ruled in favor of the school district on the day of the argument and issued an opinion supporting that ruling on June 18, 2018. The plaintiffs then asked the court for reconsideration. The court agreed to reconsideration and issued a revised opinion in favor of the school district on July 26, 2018.

Press Release


Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU of Pennsylvania; Leslie Cooper of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project; and Amanda Nelson and Harper Seldin of Cozen O’Connor

Date filed

April 4, 2017


U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania