January 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 28

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January 28, 2022

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New Department of Education and DOJ Guidance Issued Regarding Transgender Students

Last Friday, a “Dear Colleague” letter was issued to provide guidance to schools for how transgender students are protected under Title IX. To avoid sex discrimination, schools must treat transgender students the same way they treat other students with the same gender identity (that is, with the same internal sense of gender regardless of the sex assigned at birth).  If a hostile environment is created based on gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition, schools must take prompt and effective steps to end, prevent, and remedy any effects of the harassment.

Other highlights of the guidance:

Restrooms & Locker Rooms – Transgender students must be allowed to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Athletics – Title IX regulations permit a school to operate or sponsor sex-segregated athletics teams when selection for such teams is based upon competitive skill or when the activity involved is a contact sport. A school may not, however, adopt or adhere to requirements that rely on overly broad generalizations or stereotypes about the differences between transgender students and other students of the same sex or others’ discomfort with transgender students.

Fraternities & Sororities – Title IX does not apply to the membership practices of social fraternities and sororities.  Organizations may set their own policies regarding the sex of their members. Nothing prevents them from accepting transgender members.

Housing Accommodations – Transgender students must be allowed housing consistent with their gender identity and may not be required to stay in single-occupancy accommodations.

Record Maintenance – Schools may maintain confidential records with information related to a student’s transgender status; however, non-consensual disclosure may violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 138
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About this Author

Kaitlin L. Robidoux, Attorney, Labor, Employment, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Associate

Kaite Robidoux focuses her practice in the area of labor and employment law.

Drafted employment law presentation for insurance company, as well as other employment law presentations for local businesses .

Drafted employers’ position statements for discrimination claims before the EEOC Defended employers in state court against claims of discrimination under West Virginia common law and the West Virginia Human Rights Act .

Defended employers in state court against claims under the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Defended employers’ decisions to...

304-933-8161
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