The Obama administration is set to issue guidance today [Friday, May 13, 2015] directing public schools and public colleges and universities to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching the gender with which they identify.
It is in a joint letter from both the Departments of Education and Justice that will be delivered Friday that guidelines ensuring that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment,” are set.
This development comes only as the latest in an ongoing battle and debate over the rights of the transgender community.
Current embroiled in a legal battle with the Department of Justice is North Carolina over its law which restricts transgender bathroom use under their identified gender. It was just this week that the department sued North Carolina over the law that states that people must use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificates.
While the administered letter has no actual force of law, the repercussions are stated clearly: failure comply means a loss of public funding.
Following the struggle with North Carolina, the administration is hoping that explicitly extending this issue to all 50 states will clear up concerns and questions “many parents, schools, and districts have raised” about “this area of civil rights law.”
“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 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.”