Trump administration rescinds guidance addressing how Title IX education law protects transgender students.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Trump administration lifted federal guidelines implemented under the Obama administration that required schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identities.
According to the Associated Press, the Trump administration claims that this decision is based on the issue of states’ rights. Both the Justice and Education departments expressed concern in a letter to the schools across the country that the Obama administration’s guideline “has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms,” and that the two agencies revoked the guideline “in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.”
In the same AP article, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos defended the decision saying that this is an issue best handled at the state and local level. DeVos also said in the article that “Schools, communities, and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students.”
Initially, President Obama issued this guidance claiming that transgender students are protected under Title IX, which protects students in federally funded institutions from gender based discrimination. However, Attorney Jeff Sessions said in a statement that “the Obama guidance did not sufficiently explain how federal sex discrimination law known as Title IX also applies to gender identity.”
Here is an excerpt from the official statement from the Education and Justice departments under President Obama when the guidance protecting transgender students was issued back in May 2016. This excerpt clarifies how Title IX applies to gender identity according to the Obama administration.
“The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.”
This recent decision by the Trump administration has caused outrage among transgender advocates across the country. Hundreds gathered in Washington D.C. today outside the White House to protest the administration’s decision.