Fourth Circuit Blocks WV Law Aimed to Ban Transgender Student-Athletes

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2024



GLSEN Applauds Fourth Circuit of Appeals for Blocking Law in West Virginia That Would Have Banned Transgender Student-Athletes


April 16, 2024GLSEN, the leading national non-profit working to support LGBTQ+ youth in K-12 schools, applauds the Fourth Circuit for blocking West Virginia law HB 3293 that bans transgender students from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. West Virginia middle school student Becky Pepper-Jackson first challenged the law preventing her from joining her school’s track team in 2021. In support, The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU of West Virginia filed a lawsuit on behalf of Pepper-Jackson advocating for her legal right to participate in the sport.

Today, the Court found HB 3293 violates both Title IX and the U.S. Constitution. West Virginia is one of 25 states that have banned transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

GLSEN’s Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she) provided the following statement:

"By blocking HB 3293, the Fourth Circuit reaffirms that every student deserves the opportunity to fully participate in school sports. This decision makes clear what we have long cautioned: state efforts to target and silence transgender youth unlawfully violate students’ civil rights. We commend Becky Pepper-Jackson for her bravery in taking action to defend her rights, and we stand in solidarity with all LGBTQ+ youth who deserve to compete and thrive in environments free from discrimination.”

For press inquiries, please reach out to:
Madison Hamilton, Director of Communications and Public Voice, GLSEN
Mark Umbach, Lucky Break PR

GLSEN is a multi-racial intergenerational LGBTQ+ organization working nationally and locally to transform K-12 educational systems in the United States. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.