School “Bathroom Guidance” Stirs Wide Attention

Recent federal guidelines regarding restroom facilities in public schools have landed in a politically charged environment, with school stakeholders paying close attention. Though Maryland is less affected than most other states (having enacted laws governing public accommodations several years ago), the discussion does continue here and elsewhere.

A recent article in Education Week details some of this discussion:

The guidance says schools must ensure that a student’s treatment aligns with his or her gender identity “when a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records.”
The Justice and Education departments did not provide further advice for how this process should work.

In most schools that had transgender-student policies before the guidance was issued, accommodations generally started after notification from parents. But many schools allow exceptions for students who decide to transition on their own, without support from their parents or guardians, because they view it as a civil right.

The article also contains a broad Q&A on the topic.

See previous Conduit Street coverage of this issue.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties