Department of Education: Title IX Prohibits Discrimination Against Transgender Students

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/96829830@N04/8976479577/in/photolist-eFdNDg-k6LKQi-fhYrMm-k6LSsB-ekcQLC-k6P71A-jeXA4V-j3yJ6-gcjT4q-fyh45u-8q94PM-6B1Ffb-fyh3ts-5tf2gA-5otHqH-gdKmK-4xfLxD-aBj7NW-5ELJFo-63nebf-iCq9RR-kKWMRX-5bWgco-7h4zDD-bkYnNN-cmSMmY-9dpmaG-icYznx-fgnsLG-k6L79Z-7yFqQP-k6NN9d-fy7rUL-jeZ6FB-fxS8rP-fxc82x-jEc6Bb-NHLdq-fhYgkE-fy7rah-fhYpoh-fhYgS9-fxS9Ur-fxc626-fhYg3d-h1ANBz-k6CTQd-fxc8tt-fxc6cp-ndU2MK-jEeQms">marsmet472</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On Tuesday, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued explicit guidance barring schools that receive federal Title IX funds from discriminating against transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

“Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation. Similarly, the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations,” the guidance reads.

Human rights advocates are praising the new policy: “We hear from hundreds of students each year who simply want to be themselves and learn at school,” Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “Sadly, many schools continue to exclude transgender students from being able to fully participate. Now, every school in the nation should know they are required to give all students, including transgender students, a fair chance at success.”

“This guidance is crystal clear and leaves no room for uncertainty on the part of schools regarding their legal obligation to protect transgender students from discrimination,” said Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, in a statement. The ACLU notes that the guidance builds upon the 2012 ruling from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protecting transgender employees from workplace discrimination.

The Title IX program is a Nixon-era law that bans schools that receive federal funding from engaging in sex discrimination. But the requirement hasn’t always extended to transgender students. The Transgender Law Center is currently representing a transgender man who filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the University of Pittsburgh violated his rights under Title IX, among other laws.  While he was a student, the university allegedly banned him from using the men’s restrooms and later expelled him after he continued using the men’s facilities.

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest