In a complete reversal of the Obama administration’s position, President Donald Trump’s administration formally rescinded past guidance on transgender bathroom protections in public schools.
Letters from the Justice and Education departments late Wednesday notified the Supreme Court and the nation’s public schools that the administration is changing its position on the issue.
Former President Barack Obama instructed public schools that they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with a child’s chosen gender identity. The guidance was issued as an interpretation of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education.
Now, the administration is revoking key guidance on which that policy was based. The letter informs the court that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will no longer “rely on the views expressed in that guidance, and instead will consider further and more completely the legal issues involved.”
The two federal departments advise their belief that “there must be due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”
In addition, the letter knocks down the past administration’s interpretation of transgender rights as an extension of Title IX by saying the Obama administration’s guidance did not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”
The letter to schools will have no immediate effect, because the Obama policy was blocked by a federal court shortly after it was issued last May, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos noted in a statement.
DeVos said the decision was needed to “protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment.”
“This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities, and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students,” she said. Read More