• September 16, 2021

The new U.S. Department of Education policy on transgender students is out: The new policy is not in the books

The new Obama administration’s transgender education policy is no longer in the book, according to the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, but it’s likely to have a significant impact on transgender Americans. 

The policy, adopted on Jan. 6, does not ban schools from teaching students about gender identity or expression, but does require schools to include gender-specific language in the school’s instruction. 

It also requires schools to make clear that transgender students should not be discriminated against in any way, and does not allow schools to refuse to offer a transgender student access to restrooms that align with their gender identity. 

However, that’s not all. 

On Jan. 11, a federal appeals court issued a preliminary injunction against the Obama administration on the policy, calling it a form of gender-based discrimination that violates Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs. 

If the district of Columbia were to lose that injunction, it could face a possible loss of federal funding from the federal government if it does not comply with the new policy. 

In its ruling, the 3rd U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women said that, while it found the policy discriminatory, it noted that the Obama Administration “did not make any such findings to date.” 

In the court filing, the OCR said the Department of Justice and the Department’s Education Department should have conducted more research before making changes to the policy.

“This is not the first time the Obama Administrations Administration has attempted to revise the law in a way that would eliminate protections for transgender students and their families, and it is not likely to be the last,” the OCC said in its ruling.

“We have noted that in recent years, Congress has attempted several times to reform the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which provides a mechanism for the Department to enact a policy change.” 

A spokesperson for the Office of Personnel Management confirmed the decision, saying the OPM will review the OPC decision, and that the department is reviewing its current policy.

The OPC has a long history of making changes, such as allowing transgender people to use the bathroom matching their gender identities in some public schools, and mandating that the Department issue guidance on how schools should teach transgender students. 

“The OPM is aware of the court’s decision,” OPM spokesperson Jennifer Seneff told Reuters. 

Meanwhile, a transgender person is suing the Obama adminstration over its policy, saying it violated Title IX protections against gender-biased policies and discrimination. 

Caitlyn Jenner, a former Olympic gold medalist, filed the suit against the administration on Wednesday, claiming the policy violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which guarantees equal protection under the law. 

While Jenner is seeking damages for discrimination, she has also filed a lawsuit against the federal court in Seattle, asking for a court order to lift the injunction on the Trump administration’s policy.

Jenner is the first openly transgender person to file suit in the Trump adminstration.