Friday, May 13, 2016

 

A federal letter warns public schools not to discriminate against transgender students

Schools Are Put on Notice to Respect Transgender Rights.

In a letter sent Friday, federal officials warn local districts not to discriminate against students using restrooms.

Schools Are Put on Notice to Respect Transgender Rights
In a letter sent Friday, federal officials warn local districts not to discriminate against students using restrooms.

Jonathan Drake / Reuters
 
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MATT FORD
MAY 12, 2016   POLITICS
The Education and Justice Departments will send a letter Friday to every public-school district in the country notifying school administrators that discrimination against transgender students violates federal civil-rights law.

In the letter, which offers the most detailed federal guidance yet for educators on transgender students and their rights, the departments interpret anti-discrimination laws to apply when a parent or guardian tells school administrators about their child’s gender identity.

Disclosing a transgender student's birth name or his or her sex assigned at birth, the letter warns, could also violate the student’s rights guaranteed under FERPA, the federal statute on privacy in educational settings.

From there, the departments outline how Title IX forbids discrimination on the basis of gender identity in a variety of school functions, including housing, athletics, and single-sex classrooms. Other activities, including graduation ceremonies and yearbooks, are also covered.

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