Federal Court Rules NC Charter School Cannot Require Girls to Wear Skirts
In a case that Ellis & Winters partner Jon Sasser has long been involved in, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that an NC charter school must allow female students to wear pants to school. In an en banc decision, a majority of the full Court of Appeals held that the dress code at Charter Day School in Leland violated female students’ equal protection rights, siding with parents who contended that their daughters were harmed by the requirement.
Public schools are banned from treating female students differently from male students. In this appeal the court’s majority concluded that public charter schools, which receive public funds, are “state actors” and therefore subject to the United States Constitution’s equal protection clause.
The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) Women’s Project, founded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg led the appeal with assistance from Ellis & Winters paralegal Teri Rodriguez.