Two Mountain States, Two Very Different Approaches to Transgender Students

In May 2016, the Obama Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Justice Department, released a “Dear Colleague” letter providing federal guidance on transgender rights within American schools. The directive stated the administration would further interpret Title IX’s sex-based protections to encompass gender identity and required DOE to “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations.”

Fourteen states retorted with a suit on the grounds that the administration had unlawfully reinterpreted the 1972 law and violated state sovereignty by forcing them to comply with the guidance or lose federal funding. The backlash has predominantly focused on the provision that transgender students have access to all existing sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Two mountain states, two very different approaches to transgender students

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