The Globe obtained a letter (see below) sent to the Douglas County School District Board of Trustees from the ACLU Nevada that threatens the district with a lawsuit if the Board adopts a transgender student policy that protect sports, locker rooms, and bathrooms from biological males who identify as females or biological women who identify as males.
The ACLU NV sent the letter on May 3rd, prior to the school board publishing agenda item 19 for the upcoming Board meeting on May 16th.
Agenda item 19 reads:
Transgender Student Policy SG-G (Discussion and For Possible Discussion)
Description: The Board will discuss and take possible action on whether to adopt a policy regarding (1) students who are biologically male at birth and whether they can participate in female sports and use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms; and (2) students who are biologically female at birth and whether they can participate in male sports and use boys’ bathrooms and locker rooms.
In the letter, the ACLU NV warns:
If these polices and practices are passed by the Board of Trustees, Douglas County School District will be in violation of various regulations promulgated by the Nevada Department of Education, various provisions within the NRS, including NRS 651.050(2)…,Title IX, Section 24 of the Nevada Constitution, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.…
Policies of this nature do not belong in the State of Nevada… Your obligation as a board is to uphold the regulation of this state and to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment free from bullying and judgement…
Any consideration of those policies will be in direct violation of the law and your duties as a board and will result in litigation.
As the Globe reported, the Equal Rights Amendment (SJR8) was passed a second time during a special session of the Nevada legislature and at the height of the pandemic which severely limited public comment or dissent due to pandemic restrictions. At the time, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro stated: “The time is now to show the nation that we as Nevadans lead when it comes to equality for all. We have to continue to fight to just obtain the simple rights that should be and ought to be guaranteed in our laws and in our constitutions…What Senate Joint Resolution No. 8 does provide for, is that we ensure that there is equality under the law.”
Democratic Senator Pat Spearman, who is a member of the LGBT+ caucus, stressed: “We’ve waited long enough for equal rights to be incorporated into our state constitution … We must be brave in protecting the weak, the downtrodden, the oppressed. We must be brave in lifting our fellow Nevadans to a place of justice and equality.”
Ultimately, the resolution became Question One on the ballot in the November 2022 midterm election. Question One garnered 58.6 percent/ 580,022 votes and altered the state constitution to include, in part, protections for gender identity and gender expression.
The entire amendment reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this State or any of its political subdivisions on account of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry or national origin.”
Should the Douglas County School Board of Trustees adopt the policy at the school board meeting on May 16th and the ACLU NV moves forward with litigation, this will be the first legal test of the Equal Rights Amendment and the first Nevada case that will determine if biological females and males are equal to and deserving of legal protection afforded to their transgender classmates.
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