This week, the Obama administration notified public schools throughout the U.S. that they should allow transgender students to use a restroom of that student’s choice.
The guidance from the Departments of Justice and Education is not actually binding, on the schools; however, the joint letter from the federal departments implied that federal funding could potentially be withheld if a public school did not follow the guidance.
The head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division explained: “Our guidance sends a clear message to transgender students across the country: here in America, you are safe, you are protected and you belong, just as you are.”
The ACLU signaled this was a positive step in the right direction, but not everyone agreed with this assessment. For example, the Texas Attorney General said: “If President Obama thinks he can bully Texas schools into allowing men to have open access to girls in bathrooms, he better prepare for yet another legal fight.” In fact, the Texas Lieutenant Governor said that he would disregard the Administration’s guidance.
We have clearly not heard the last from state governments or from the White House on this topic.