Court Halts Transgender Rules for Public Schools

As reported in the Washington Post, a federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an Obama administration directive on bathroom access for transgender students.

As described by the Post,

Texas and a dozen other states sued in an attempt to block the federal directive shortly after it was released in May, and in a 38-page opinion issued Sunday, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas temporarily prohibited the federal government from enforcing it as that lawsuit proceeds. The Obama administration has said that schools must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and school facilities that match their gender identity, citing it as a civil rights issue protected under the federal sex-discrimination law known as Title IX.

Civil liberties advocates state that schools must continue to provide transgender students with rights under Title IX, despite this ruling. From the Post‘s article,

“A ruling by a single judge in one circuit cannot and does not undo the years of clear legal precedent nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination,” the ACLU said in a statement. “This unfortunate and premature ruling may, however, confuse school districts that are simply trying to support their students, including their transgender students. So let us make it clear to those districts: your obligations under the law have not changed, and you are still not only allowed but required to treat transgender students fairly.”

For more information, see the full story from the Washington PostFederal judge temporarily halts Obama’s directive to schools on accommodating transgender students.

For information on Maryland school’s reaction to the directive, see our previous coverage, Locals Check the Ins and Outs of New Federal School Bathroom Guidelines and MSDE’s Guidance.