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


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.

 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.