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Doe v. Yunits

Massachusetts Superior Court
2000 WL 33162199 (2000)


Facts

Pat Doe (plaintiff) was a 15-year-old student at South Junior High School (the school) (defendant). Doe was diagnosed with gender-identity disorder. Doe was born biologically male, but she had a female gender identity. While Doe was in the seventh and eighth grades, Doe would attend school in female clothing. Principal Kenneth Cardone would occasionally send Doe home for violating the dress code, which prohibits clothing that could be disruptive or distractive to the educational process or that could affect the safety of students. Doe would sometimes change clothes and return to school and would sometimes stay home. The school reported difficulty with other students when Doe would wear skirts, dresses, and padded bras. Medical testimony was presented that Doe’s ability to dress as a female was important to her health and well-being. On September 1, 2000, Doe was informed that she would not be allowed to attend the school if she wore padded bras, skirts, dresses, or wigs. Doe sued the school, alleging that the school was denying her First Amendment right to express herself. Doe sought a preliminary injunction to prohibit the school from excluding her on the basis of her gender identity.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Giles, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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