How School Districts Are Responding to the Trans Guidance Reversal


In February, the Departments of Education and Justice reversed the Obama-era guidance issued to school districts on accommodating trans students. Soon after, the Supreme Court sent back to a lower court the case of Gavin Grimm, a trans teen who was denied access to the school bathroom that aligns with his gender identity. 

Though Title IX is still federal law – it prohibits discrimination in education based on sex, which includes trans students – the protections afforded to trans students are in limbo. School communities are left in confusion about their obligations under Title IX. And trans students are left in fear.

In the weeks since the reversal of the guidance, school districts, other education bodies, and political leaders across the country have made public their commitment to protecting trans students, often citing existing state and local protections. This is what leadership looks like:

1. Superintendent Torlakson, California Department of Education


State Superintendent @TomTorlakson reminds all Californians that state law protects transgender students’ rights:

— CA Dept of Education (@CADeptEd) February 23, 2017


 2. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh


The White House's reckless actions last night undermine the promise of civil rights and equal protection for all in this country. (1/3)

— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) February 23, 2017


3. Chancellor Wilson, DC Public Schools 


DCPS is committed to supporting & protecting transgender students. Read Chancellor Wilson's letter to the community

— DC Public Schools (@dcpublicschools) February 23, 2017


 4. Superintendent Carranza, Houston Independent School District


A special message from @HISD_Supe was sent today to all community members, parents, and @TeamHISD regarding student protections at #HISD

— Houston ISD (@HoustonISD) February 24, 2017


 5.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo


Today I issued a directive to the State Education Department: School districts must protect transgender students

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 23, 2017


 6. Des Moines Public Schools 



Des Moines Public Schools will always welcome and support our diverse student body. This includes our transgender students.

 — DM Public Schools (@DMschools) February 23, 2017


 These are joined by many others that have committed to protecting trans students:

But not all responses have been positive. Some school districts have taken the reversal of the guidance as license to discriminate. In Kansas, the Derby School District rolled back their trans-inclusive bathroom policy, putting young trans Kansans in greater danger.

As the courts hear Gavin’s case, we must take action to ensure trans students are protected. Here’s how you can help right now: