On June 26, 2023 the U.S. Supreme Court (Court) decided not to hear Charter Day School, Inc. v. Peltier, a case that initially arose in 2016 after parents at a North Carolina charter school challenged a uniform policy preventing girls from wearing shorts or pants. They claimed the policy, which required girls to wear skirts, was sex discrimination and in violation of Title IX. The Court’s decision is in line with a May 2023 amicus brief filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which requested that the Court not hear the case.
In a press release later that day, Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, stated “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, allowing the Fourth Circuit’s decision to stand. Charter schools are public schools and are, in fact, state actors for the purposes of protecting students’ federal constitutional rights.
In essence, the Court’s decision to not hear the case avoids making a determination as to whether private entities authorized by the state to operate a public charter school are state actors subject to federal constitutional requirements. Thus, the court of appeals’ decision — that CDS is a state actor when it enforces its student dress code and the enforcement of its student dress code is state action — remains intact.