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Post submitted by Remington A. Gregg, former HRC Legislative Counsel

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance that instructs public elementary and secondary schools that transgender students may enroll single-sex classes and activities based on their gender identity.

This clarifying information builds on April 2014 guidance that informed public schools that Title IX – the federal law that protects students against sex discrimination – protects students against discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. 

According to the Department of Education, although single-sex classes should only be used sparingly in order to achieve an “important objective,” when they are used, public schools (including traditional, charter, and magnet schools) and a few private coeducational schools that receive federal funding must “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes.”

This guidance is a positive step and continues the strong leadership that the Department of Education has taken to ensure equal respect and treatment for all LGBT students.

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