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School; HallwayPost submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Deputy Communications Director

Today the U.S Department of Education issued guidance clarifying that federal Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students.

HRC welcomes the guidance issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which says "Title IX's sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation."

The need for protections for transgender students is clear.  Seventy-eight percent of transgender children in grades K-12 reported being harassed in school, 35 percent physically assaulted, and 12 percent sexually assaulted, according to a 2011 report from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 

According to “Growing Up LGBT in America,” HRC Foundation’s groundbreaking survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth, more than four in 10 (42 percent) gender-expansive youth report "frequently" or "often" being called names involving anti-gay slurs and 40 percent report being excluded by peers “frequently” or "often;" and more than half of gender-expansive youth reported “never participating” in the majority of activities listed in the survey (e.g., sports, church/religious youth groups and service organizations) out of fear of discrimination. 

HRC has long urged the Department of Education to make clear that transgender and gender non-conforming students are protected under Title IX.  This clarification from the Department of Education will greatly increase the potential for transgender and gender non-conforming students of all ages to be safe at school, to stay in school, and to succeed academically.

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