Last night we reported that the Obama administration was set to issue direction calling on all U.S. school districts to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they choose.
This morning, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education released that guidance, explaining how Title IX applies to a wide variety of sex segregated activities and facilities including restrooms, locker rooms, athletics, single-sex classes, single-sex schools, social fraternities and sororities, and housing and overnight accommodations, and you can read it below.
Write Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education Catherine E. Lhamon and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta in a post introducing the guidance:
The Departments’ guidance identifies the key requirements that schools need to keep in mind to comply with Title IX and other federal laws. The companion document offers real-life examples of how schools are making sure transgender and all students have a safe and respectful learning environment. Both documents show that protecting transgender students’ right to be who they are does not harm other students; instead, they show that equality for transgender students is not only required by law but achievable through common-sense approaches that foster safety and a positive learning environment for all students.
The documents address common questions – like how to handle educational records of transgender students and how to address harassment of transgender students. They also highlight sensible ways that schools around the country have been able to address concerns from other students and parents without infringing upon transgender students’ civil rights. The guidance does not require any student to use shared bathrooms or changing spaces, when, for example, there are other appropriate options available; and schools can also take steps to increase privacy within shared facilities. And it reiterates that Title IX does not prohibit medically- and scientifically-sound requirements to ensure physical safety and competitive fairness in school sports.
Taken together, we hope these new resources assist everyone – from state and local leaders to educators to students and families – about how to create a safe, welcoming, and supportive learning environment for every student.
Also included in the documentation are a set of suggestions or ’emerging practices’ used by schools around the country. The doc explains:
The examples in that document are taken from policies that school districts, state education agencies, and high school athletics associations around the country have adopted to help ensure that transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment. Schools are encouraged to consult that document for practical ways to meet Title IX’s requirements.
Read the document: