"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," the guidelines state. The guidance, included in a larger document on school's responsibilities to protect students from sexual violence, also declares that schools must provide equal access to all programs and facilities for transgender students, consistent with the student's gender identity.
"This announcement is a breakthrough for transgender students, who too often face hostility at school and refusal by school officials to accept them for who they truly are," said Harper Jean Tobin, Policy Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement. According to research by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 80 percent of transgender students feel unsafe at school because of their identity.
"It is now clearer than ever that schools nationwide are responsible for ensuring that transgender students are respected and safe, and students can seek protection from the Department of Education and the courts if schools fail to do so," Tobin added.
The guidance builds on previous federal settlements and court cases, including a case in a California school district where a transgender boy was excluded from school restrooms and field trip accommodations.
Media Resources: US Department of Education; National Center for Transgender Equality 4/29/14; ACLU 4/29/14; Feminist Majority Foundation
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .