USDE Issues Guidance On School Accomodations for Transgendered Students

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The US Department of Education, in concert with the US Department of Justice released joint guidance to schools explaining how federal law prohibiting sex discrimination affects schools’ obligations toward transgender students. The Department of Education also released a compilation of examples of ways that schools across the country are already successfully supporting transgender students.

The guidance identifies the key requirements that schools need to keep in mind to comply with Title IX and other federal laws. The companion document offers real-life examples.

The documents seek to address common questions – like how to handle educational records of transgender students and how to address harassment of transgender students.  They also highlight ways that schools around the country have been able to address concerns from other students and parents without infringing upon transgender students’ civil rights.

The guidance does not require any student to use shared bathrooms or changing spaces, when, for example, there are other appropriate options available; and schools can also take steps to increase privacy within shared facilities on a neutral basis.  The guidance also reiterates that Title IX does not prohibit medically- and scientifically-sound requirements to ensure physical safety and competitive fairness in school sports.

NJPSA is reviewing documents and will provide additional information as it becomes available.