Federal joint guidance issued on transgender access to public school restrooms

Federal joint guidance issued on transgender access to public school restrooms
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| May 13 2016,

08:09 am


Public schools are now required to make bathrooms accessible to students "consistent with their gender identity". The joint decision comes from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education by means of ensuring civil rights to transgender students. According to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal funding are forbidden from discriminating against students based on sex. In a letter sent to schools Friday, the departments issued guidelines to ensure equality for transgender students. “There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies. I look forward to continuing our work with the Department of Education – and with schools across the country – to create classroom environments that are safe, nurturing, and inclusive for all of our young people.” When a school is notified that a student is transgender, be it from a parent or the actual student, the school is required to treat them in accordance with their gender identity. In addition to bathrooms, schools must give transgender students access to locker rooms and any other sex-segregated facility based on gender identity. The new guidance also states administrators must respond to reports of harassment based on a student's gender identity or transitioning in addition to permitting students to participate in "sex-segregated activities". The guidance also specifies that schools are not required to have a "medical diagnosis, undergo any medical treatment, or produce a birth certificate or other identification document before treating them consistent with their gender identity." Failure to comply could result in a loss of funding
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