Federal Enforcement Actions: The joint decision by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to withdraw and rescind past guidance on transgendered students means those departments will not be independently pursuing enforcement actions against schools and/or threatening the loss of federal funds based on a school district’s alleged failure to implement each and every aspect of the former guidelines.
As a practical matter, enforcement of the rescinded guidance has been on hold since last August when a federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement. (See previous post.) The Wisconsin Department of Justice was one of several state departments that joined a federal lawsuit challenging the guidance that resulted in the issuance of that injunction. (See previous post.) Given the latest action from the new Trump administration, that lawsuit is “essentially moot,” according to a state DOJ spokesman. Continue reading Where Does The Feds’ Withdrawal of Transgender Guidance Leave School Districts?
The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have withdrawn and rescinded written policy and guidance statements related to transgender students that had been issued by the Departments in 2015 and 2016, including the “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” issued last May, in order to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.” The Departments will no longer rely on the views expressed in those documents.
The now-withdrawn statements had taken the position that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IX’s implementing regulations, which expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, require school districts to provide students with access to sex-segregated facilities (such as restrooms and locker rooms) on the basis of gender identity.
Continue reading Feds Withdraw and Rescind Policy Guidance on Transgender Students
Last week, Wisconsin joined Texas and nine other states in challenging the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance on gender identity and use of facilities by transgender students. Under the guidance, schools must allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
In his May 25 press release, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asserts that by reinterpreting the word “sex” to include “gender identity” without Congressional. consent or approval, the federal guidance amounts to executive overreach that undermines Wisconsin sovereignty and independence.
Continue reading Wisconsin Joins Challenge to Federal Guidance on Transgender Students
This morning the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to public school districts nationwide spelling out measures schools should take to safeguard the civil rights of students, based on their gender identity.
Both departments interpret that Title IX, which outlaws sex discrimination for any school receiving federal funding, covers gender identity. Because the law prohibits discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, the departments assert, this includes discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.
Continue reading Feds Issue “Significant Guidance” About Transgender Students