The Education Department Will Reject Bathroom Complaints from Transgender Students 

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The Department of Education
confirmed
with BuzzFeed on Monday that they will not look
at complaints from transgender students who are barred from
using the bathroom matching their gender identity, a position
that conflicts with multiple federal court rulings. Just
another day in
God’s kingdom
.

A year ago, Trump’s Education Department
rescinded
an Obama-era guidance that
directed
public schools to allow transgender students to
use whichever bathroom corresponded with their gender identity.
In the months since, the administration hasn’t explained what
it would do when presented with such complaints. Now, according
to BuzzFeed, the Trump administration is claiming that such
complaints are not covered by Title IX (a federal law that
prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex), as the Obama
administration had held.

This, BuzzFeed
notes
, flies in the face of a number of court decisions:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 says it bans
discrimination
“on the basis of sex”
in publicly funded education
settings. Does that exclude transgender restroom disputes?
The plain text of the law, as some federal judges have noted,
does not answer the question. It’s ambiguous, they say. The
term “sex” — including in the
law concerning separate restrooms
— is not defined as
referring to gender identity or a person’s sex as identified
at birth.

[…]

Federal appeals courts for the
6th Circuit
and
7th Circuit
both suspended school restroom policies,
ruling that transgender students were likely to prevail at
trial using claims under Title IX.

Most recently, in May 2017, a unanimous three-judge panel for
7th Circuit wrote in
Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District
that
a policy that requires an individual to use a
bathroom that does not conform with his or her gender
identity punishes that individual for his or her gender
non‐conformance, which in turn violates Title IX.”

“This new categorical bar of civil rights protection for
transgender children required to attend schools every day
ignores the text of the law, courts’ interpretation of the law,
the stated position of the Department to date, and human
decency,” Catherine Lhamon, head of the Civil Rights Office of
the Obama Education Department,
told
BuzzFeed.

Fascinatingly, just a few days ago, Education Secretary Betsy
DeVos
claimed to be hurt
by reports that she is not a champion of
civil rights, despite the fact that her Education Department

literally scaled back
investigations into civil rights
violations.

“It’s hurtful to me when I’m criticized for not upholding the
rights of students, the civil rights of students,” DeVos said
last week.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” she insisted,

according
to Politico. “I have to turn it back around and
say why do I keep getting criticized for that? I mean, nothing
that I’ve done would suggest otherwise.”

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