Schools Having Separate Bathrooms for Boys, Girls Not Discrimination, DOE Clarifies; Left Media Freaks Out

Buzzfeed recounted Monday that they had been pressing the Department of Education for the past three weeks to nail down the agency's stance on the bathroom issue.

In February of last year Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama Administration’s 2016 Dear Colleague guidance letter to public schools, which said that students must be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender with which they self-identify and threatened to withhold federal funds if schools did not comply.

 

The Department of Education stated Monday that it would not be investigating complaints by transgender students regarding public school bathroom use, since Title IX applies to biological sex and not gender identity.

Meanwhile, major news outlets are voicing their disgust, saying this amounts to substantial assault on civil rights, while virtually ignoring all concerns related to privacy or the implications of replacing sex with gender identity.

Buzzfeed recounted Monday that they had been pressing the Department of Education for the past three weeks to nail down the agencies stance on the bathroom issue after what they say was an unclear position following a series of changes the Trump administration made in 2017.

In February of last year Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama Administration’s 2016 Dear Colleague guidance letter to public schools, which said that students must be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender with which they self-identify and threatened to withhold federal funds if schools did not comply. In June, the Education Department put out another memo that stated it was “permissible” for the agencies civil rights division to throw out a trans student’s restroom case.

Elizabeth Hill, a DOE spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the law says that such complaints are not covered by Title IX, a 1972 civil rights statute that forbids discrimination on the basis of sex. While complaints pertaining to harassment from transgender students will be investigated, separate restroom facilities do not constitute discrimination, she said.

Buzzfeed called the Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama administration’s 2016 move “charting new ground” in what has been a “year-long broadside against LGBT rights.” Although two federal appeals courts that encompass seven states have recently interpreted Title IX to extend to gender identity and have issued rulings that say that not allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice is a violation of the statute, the Trump administration’s ground is not especially “new.”

Read More