Almost one year ago, the department under Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos made headlines by pushing Obama’s- era steps on transgender student protections. After Trump’s administration removed this law, the department of Education never made it clear as to how they would handle future discrimination cases filed by transgender students, until now.
On Monday, the U.S. Education Department said “it won’t hear complaints about or take action on this question.” The department’s spokeswoman Liz Hill confirmed to NPR that the department is taking that rollback a step further. “Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” Hill stated. This means that complaints about harassing, bullying, or punishing transgender or gender non- conforming students would fall under Title IX.
“Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex- based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
Access to accommodations such as restrooms, or presumably locker rooms, would not be covered by Title IX. “In the case of bathrooms, however, long- standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
The only issue is that the Obama- era guidance declared the opposite, stating that the civil rights law covered student gender identity as well as sex.