According to the New York Times, in a letter that’s set to sweep across the nation to school districts this Friday, the Obama administration will direct public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” the letter reads according to the Times.
From Mother Jones:
The notice comes in the middle of a contentious legal battle between the Justice Department and North Carolina over the state’s decision to restrict bathroom access according to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate. Administration officials have said the state law amounted to a violation of civil rights, and federal agencies were exploring whether the North Carolina law could result in the loss of billions in federal funding.
“What you don’t do is go and tell a kid, ‘You know, there is something so freakishly different about you that you make other people uncomfortable, so we’re going to make you do something different’,” said Thomas Aberli, a high school principal in Louisville, Kentucky who estimated that his school of 1,350 students had about six transgender children. “There’s been no incident since its implementation. It’s really just a nonissue in our school.”
Courts are still deciding whether or not anti-discrimination laws apply to transgender issues. The Times reports that a federal appeals court decision in Virginia last month ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy who was born female and wanted to use the boy’s bathroom at his high school.
Featured image: The Odyssey Online