The Education Department will no longer be looking into transgender bathroom complaints.
During former president Barack Obama’s second term, schools were directed to allow students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity, according to the Washington Post. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions later removed the guidance under president Donald Trump and said they would only be looking at other forms of discrimination.
“Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” Education Department spokesperson Elizabeth Hill said to the the Washington Post. “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. In the case of bathrooms, however, longstanding regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
Catherine Lhamon, who headed the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights during Obama’s time in office, said the department’s statement was “appalling and deeply dangerous,” to the Post.
“The federal courts have multiple times made clear that Title IX protects transgender students,” Lhamon said. “They just don’t have the option to say, ‘We just don’t apply the law here.’ ”