Response from Department of Education: Schools Must Treat Students Consistent with Gender Identity in Sex-Segregated Facilities

In response to a letter I wrote the Department of Education last month, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has now clearly stated that transgender students must be treated consistent with their gender identity in their use of sex-segregated facilities:

The Department’s Title IX regulations permit schools to provide sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, athletic teams, and single-sex classes under certain circumstances. When a school elects to separate or treat students differently on the basis of sex in those situations, a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity. OCR also encourages schools to offer the use of gender-neutral, individual-user facilities to any student who does not want to use shared sex-segregated facilities.

The letter was signed by the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and the Office of Civil Rights, indicating that it is substantial guidance that may be relied upon by other entities in determining compliance with Title IX.