Bismarck, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s governor and top education official say President Barack Obama’s recent directive ordering schools to accommodate transgender students’ choice of bathrooms is an overstep by the federal government.
Schools risk losing federal funding if they don’t allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, even if their education records or identity documents indicate a different gender.
The guidance from leaders at the federal Education and Justice Departments doesn’t impose new legal requirements but clarifies expectations for districts receiving federal funds.
“President Obama’s directive is another example of federal overreach and a blatant threat to withhold funding that is vital to student success,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.
Both he and State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said decisions on such issues should be left up to local school boards, parents and community members.
“We elect local school board leaders to make decisions that are best for all of our students, our families, and the communities they serve,” Baesler said. “It’s frustrating to have the overreach from Washington to try to have a one size-fits-all solution.”