Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Education Dept. Will Reject Transgender Students’ Bathroom Complaints

by Countable | 2.12.18

What’s the story?

The U.S. Department of Education will not investigate complaints from transgender students who have been denied access to bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

"Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity," Education Department spokesperson Liz Hill told Buzzfeed, which broke the story.

Why does it matter?

As Buzzfeed explained, "It’s the first time officials have asserted this position publicly as an interpretation of law. No formal announcement has been made."

Hill said some transgender complaints may be investigated.

"Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX," Hill said. But she continued:

"In the case of bathrooms, however, long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX."

Not everyone agrees with this interpretation of the law. Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement that "while civil rights advocates have suspected that the Department of Education was not acting on complaints brought forward by transgender students, reports that these violations are completely being ignored are reprehensible."

Warbelow added:

"The department’s failure to act conflicts with the law in multiple jurisdictions, including federal circuits, and further emboldens those who seek to discriminate against transgender students. Once again, Secretary DeVos proves she is not interested in protecting transgender students and instead is choosing to advance the dangerous Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ agenda."

In the past, the Trump administration has tried to ban transgender people from serving in the military and rolled back Obama-era guidance that stated transgender students could use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

What do you think?

Should transgender students be protected by Title IX? Should they be allowed to use the bathroom matching their gender identity? Does Congress need to create a law to protect transgender students? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: mrtom-uk / iStock)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(172)
  • Paul
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Please consider the needs of this small segment of the population because as we treat those in the smallest minority is reflective of who we are as a whole.

    Like (103)
    Follow
    Share
  • Karen
    02/12/2018
    ···

    How shocking! This Administration is heartless. Unless you’re white, old, rich and male the could give a damn what happens to you

    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
  • Hillary
    02/12/2018
    ···

    This is more than just being too lazy to do a job. This is using semantics to try to get away with discriminating against young people who are coping with gender issues. This is a billboard saying that the bullies win.

    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joanne
    02/12/2018
    ···

    Once again Betsy DeVos is out to fulfill her radical religious agenda. If you are not white, rich, and straight, you are not welcome. If you are disabled or have special needs, you are not welcome. If you don’t have the same religious beliefs, you are not welcome. This woman is responsible for the education of our country’s children. Most of them do not fit her approved description. She must go before she destroys America’s children.

    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
  • SarahRenner
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Yes transgender students need to go to the bathroom in which they are most comfortable. To the people saying gender is in DNA, I’m intersex (“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside.). What would you say to me having both sets of DNA? I am the gender I chose. My genitals are ambiguous for the most part. Only radical, transphobic, religious bigots conform to the ideology that penis equals male and vagina equals girl and pink is a girl’s color and blue a boy’s color. This nation has went to pot ever since the Cheeto took office. I can’t wait until he is out of office and our nation starts the mending process.

    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
  • Laura
    02/12/2018
    ···

    Instead of indoctrination of fear through religion, why don’t you propose making public bathrooms inclusive for all? This is how the rest of world goes to the bathroom. Travel and you might learn something.

    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
  • John
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Title IX does protect transgenders. Stop 45’s stupidity!

    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
  • RadicalModerate
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Anyone who feels they hold “moral high ground” and therefore should decide what’s right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, for people, need to consider the harm their actions cause if they’re mistaken.

    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jennifer
    02/13/2018
    ···

    What I don’t understand is how does any Federal Department get to reject a complaint. They may decide one way or the other but they are not the Supreme Court that only sees so many cases. They should Never be allowed to reject Any complaint.

    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
  • Chickie
    02/13/2018
    ···

    U.S. Department Education ‘will not’ investigate anything to support anything outside a white, rich, heterosexual, non-special needs, radical religious agenda. The states should intervene and make sure ALL are represented with public school education. Otherwise, under the DeVos and this administration tenure, the word ‘fairness’ will be nonexistent in the curriculum!

    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
  • operaman
    02/14/2018
    ···

    What's to complain about? Black or white answer: male or female. It's as simple as the genitalia between your legs.

    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
  • James
    02/12/2018
    ···

    Boys are boys and Girls are girls! That’s what you are born as! Don’t tell me for one minute that you guys wanted to be a chick! And girls don’t tell me that you wanted to be a guy! BS! Even after someone gets a sex change and the blood, saliva, pee or what ever is tested? They will test to be the gender that they were born! Do not commit an abomination against our Lord God and Creator for judgement is certain!

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • BeStrong
    02/12/2018
    ···

    Title IX is about the physical facility, the complaints are about human rights. Why-o-why is Betsy Devos Secy of EDU? This reinvention of Uber-Christian nonsense guiding our policy is exhausting.

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Natalie
    02/12/2018
    ···

    This is a human rights issue and congress needs to act to make it explicitly clear that every one has the right to use the bathroom that most closely aligns with who they are. It is ridiculously simple and makes common sense to give basic respect to each person.

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sue
    02/13/2018
    ···

    There needs to be some simple common sense used here. If you are born with a penis, you go to the men’s restroom; if you are born with a vagina, to the women’s. Without some common sense defined guidelines for society, this country is going to implode.

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Patricia
    02/13/2018
    ···

    I am very concerned by the Department of Education’s move to not accept bathroom complaints from transgender students. The whole point of regulations like Title IX is to level the playing field by preventing discrimination based on identity. So this ruling is sticking to a very narrow interpretation of the letter in violation of the spirit. Transgender students are among the most vulnerable to bullying and harassment, often to the point of death. This policy is attacking a vulnerable minority because of fear that is not based in fact. Our country and our students deserve better.

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Brian
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Surprise surprise the Republican Party and trump prove that they are just the party of hate in all of its many forms

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • PaxAmericana
    02/13/2018
    ···

    Thank you Betsy Devos. All the angry comments here should make you feel proud for boldly standing up for the traditional values and liberties of our nation. As Winston Churchill said: “Do you have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, or someone, at least once in your life.”

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jamie
    02/13/2018
    ···

    I’ll make this simple if you have a penis you use the male bathroom if you have a vagina you use the female bathroom. There’s only 2 genders 👏🏻

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
  • Calhoun
    02/13/2018
    ···

    If you are not concerned for the safety and well-being of ALL students, regardless of your personal opinions, you are not fit to be an educator. Plain and simple. That this is a question at all is laughable. This response from the current administration is deplorable.

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share