Several States Have Adopted Non-Discrimination Laws To Protect Transgender Students.
States across the country have adopted laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools. [National Center for Transgender Equality, 1/30/15]
U.S. Department of Education Issued Guidelines In 2014 Urging Schools To Protect Transgender Students From Discrimination.
On April 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released a guidance document clarifying that the Title IX prohibition against sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs covers discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
Conservative Media Promote Bogus Myths About Policies Protecting Transgender Students.
Conservative media outlets have attacked transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policies in schools by claiming they create confusion, violate students’ privacy rights, and can be exploited by students who will pretend to be transgender in order to sneak into the restrooms for the opposite sex and behave inappropriately. [Media Matters, 2/27/13, 8/9/13, 8/14/13, 8/22/13, 10/15/13, 2/14/14, 6/9/14]
Seventeen School Districts Covering 600,000 Students Experienced No Problems After Implementing Transgender Protections
Media Matters Contacted Officials At The Largest School Districts In 12 States With Gender Identity Protections On The Books. Media Matters contacted school district officials in states with laws prohibiting discrimination in public schools on the basis of gender identity and asked whether they had experienced “any incidences of harassment or inappropriate behavior” as a result of “allowing transgender students to access facilities they’re comfortable with.” Media Matters specifically raised the oft-heard criticism that protecting transgender students will “result in confusion, harassment, or inappropriate behavior” such as “students pretending to be transgender to sneak into locker rooms or bathrooms.”
The article goes on to examine each of the 17 states that protect transgender students and to interview school officials in each state, all of whom state there have been no incidents of problems or harassment by trans people or people pretending to be trans in their school systems.
Ramon Alvarez, equal opportunity officer for Spokane Public Schools, had not heard any cases of students acting inappropriately as a result of the non-discrimination law, adding that all cases of transgender student bathroom use have been handled amicably:
“I have not heard of any situation where a student pretended to be transgender in order to sneak into bathrooms or locker rooms. Neither are we hearing of situations where a student identifies as transgender than later changes their mind. Any questions that have come up around bathroom use for transgender students have been handled amicably. [Email exchange, 5/18/15]”