The Arc of Justice: Examining Policies and Laws to Advance the Human Rights of Transgender and Gender Expansive Children

  • Alex RedcayEmail author
  • Elisabeth Counselman Carpenter
  • Sheila McMahon
  • Wade Luquet
  • Karen Rice
  • Roseanna Lance


The role of the social worker in the achievement of human rights is to assist individuals in their struggle for dignity and their attainment of their full potential. Ethical social work ensures just laws and practices that allow all persons to live without discrimination. The purpose of this paper is to present the practice and policy implications of the last five years of court cases regarding transgender and gender expansive (TGE) children and school systems in the USA. This paper outlines the legal justifications for revisions to the current procedures and policies of interacting with TGE children, including use of restrooms consistent with gender identity (RCGI). These recommended guidelines are designed to prevent ongoing human rights violations and create pathways for TGE children to live their lives congruently with their gender identity. Basic human rights for the TGE individual include policy improvements involving restrooms, locker rooms, showers, overnight accommodation, affirmed name, and identification for the child welfare, mental health, educational, medical, juvenile justice, and law enforcement systems.


Transgender Gender expansive children and youth Policy Ethics 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Millersville UniversityMillersvilleUSA
  2. 2.Southern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Barry UniversityMiami ShoresUSA
  4. 4.Gwynedd Mercy UniversityGwynedd ValleyUSA

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