Tuesday, April 29, 2014

US Department of Education says Title IX protects transgender students from discrimination


The U.S. Department of Education today issued new guidance that makes it clear that Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.

An excerpt:
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. Indeed, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth report high rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

A school should investigate and resolve allegations of sexual violence regarding LGBT students using the same procedures and standards that it uses in all complaints involving sexual violence.

The fact that incidents of sexual violence may be accompanied by anti-gay comments or be partly based on a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation does not relieve a school of its obligation under Title IX to investigate and remedy those instances of sexual violence.

The ACLU issued this statement:

"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.

"The Office for Civil Rights must now take the next step and issue comprehensive guidance on Title IX and transgender students."

The guidance released today builds on numerous court decisions and a landmark ruling from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission establishing that transgender people are protected under existing prohibitions on sex discrimination.

Nearly 80 percent of transgender students report experiencing harassment as a result of their gender identity at school, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

(source)

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