President Obama to schools: allow transgender students bathroom access

By : Wire Report
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UPDATE:

WASHINGTON – House Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance today to help provide educators the information they need to ensure that all students can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex:

 

“The Departments of Education and Justice should be commended for releasing this important guidance regarding the rights of transgender students in educational facilities. The timing of this guidance can help to quell the unfounded fears that have been spurred by damaging bills in some states. This guidance can also help schools to familiarize themselves with the expectations of the law, so that they may intelligently protect the rights and dignity of transgender students and, indeed, all students.”

 

Washington (AP) — Public schools must permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity, according to an Obama administration directive issued amid a court fight between the federal government and North Carolina.

The guidance from leaders at the departments of Education and Justice says public schools are obligated to treat transgender students in a way that matches their gender identity, even if their education records or identity documents indicate a different sex.

“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement accompanying the directive, which is being sent to school districts May 13.

In issuing the guidance, the Obama administration is wading anew into a socially divisive debate it has bluntly cast in terms of civil rights. The Justice Department on Monday sued North Carolina over a bathroom access law that it said violates the rights of transgender people, a measure that Lynch likened to policies of racial segregation and efforts to deny gay couples the right to marry.

The guidance does not impose any new legal requirements. But officials say it’s meant to clarify expectations of school districts that receive funding from the federal government. Educators have been seeking guidance on how to comply with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, Education Secretary John B. King said in a statement.

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