Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County
Description: Activists are challenging the decision of the School Board of St. Johns County in Florida to protect students’ privacy by separating school bathrooms based on biological sex.
11th Circuit rules to protect students' privacy, biological distinction between sexes
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit’s decision issued Friday in Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County that protects students’ privacy by separating school bathrooms based on biological sex:
“We’re pleased the 11th Circuit has affirmed that sex is a distinct biological class that merits protection under the law, a reality that female athletes and so many others across the country have been fighting to protect. And if gender identity advocates had had their way, St. Johns’ schools would have been forced to violate students’ privacy and cooperate with high-risk, unproven medical treatments. There are no controlled, randomized studies showing gender affirmation treatments are helpful in the long term. The 11th Circuit has rightly allowed St. Johns’ schools to prioritize the well-being of its students over gender ideology.”
The 11th Circuit stated in its opinion, “separating school bathrooms based on biological sex passes constitutional muster and comports with Title IX.” Judge Barbara Lagoa pointed out in her concurrence, “removing distinctions based on biological sex from sports, particularly for girls in middle school and high school, harms not only girls’ and women’s prospects in sports, but also hinders their development and opportunities beyond the realm of sports—a significant harm to society as a whole.”
Medical professionals represented by ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the 11th Circuit supporting the School Board of St. Johns County.
- Pronunciation guide: Kiefer (KEE’-fur)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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Christiana Kiefer serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Since joining ADF in 2012, Kiefer has worked to protect women's and girls' sports and has defended the bodily privacy rights of students. She has also worked to protect the constitutionally protected freedom of churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries to exercise their faith without government interference. Kiefer earned her J.D. in 2010 from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, where she graduated first in her class and served as a teaching assistant in criminal law. Also in 2010, Kiefer completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the state bar of California, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.