Obama Administration allows transgender students to use restrooms based on gender identity

Obama Administration allows transgender students to use restrooms based on gender identity

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Obama Administration released a letter to all public schools in the nation Friday to allow transgender students to decide which restroom they are comfortable using.

The letter breaks down regulations under the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), of gender identity. It defines the gender identity as a person's internal sense of gender, which may be different from the sex the person was born as.

The letter states a school must agree to not discriminate or treat any transgender student differently in order to receive federal funding. It said transgender students must be treated the same way any other student is treated.

The letter also states transgender students do not need a medical diagnosis or treatment requirement because transgender students are sometimes unable to provide proper identification that reflects what they identify with.

It said requiring identification denies their equal access to an educational program, meaning transgender students will be allowed to use restrooms, locker rooms or participate on sports teams based on what they identify with.

We reached out to Midland ISD and asked for their response on the regulation. They told us, "MISD has a long, successful history of attempting to make all students feel welcomed, accepted, and comfortable in our schools and we don't see the need to change what we are doing at this time."

Ector County ISD said they have a responsibility to take care of all their students. They said, "We have a large school district with a very diverse population and we have worked very hard to make sure all kids feel welcome, safe and respected at school. We will continue to do that by evaluating these situations on a case by case basis."

A school must also update the transgender student's education records using their new name and appropriate pronouns to reflect their gender identity.
MISD said they will speak to the district's board of trustees, state agencies, and community leaders to decide how to address the issue in Midland.

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