Just one week after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, the Department of Justice signaled that it is ending efforts to force school districts to allow boys into girls facilities as a condition of receiving federal funding.
Last year, the Department of Justice under President Obama redefined “sex” to mean “gender identity” under Title IX. This effectively forced schools to choose between their federal funding and the privacy of their students.
The Obama Administration challenged this injunction and the next hearing was set for Tuesday, February 14th in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Trump Administration has announced they will no longer be challenging the injunction. In response, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb stated:
“This is good news for the privacy, safety, and dignity of young students across America. The Obama Administration radically distorted a federal law that was intended to equalize educational opportunities for women and misused the law to place members of the opposite sex into students’ private facilities. Today, the Trump Administration took the first steps to end that error. It is only common sense to ensure privacy for all students by keeping boys out of girls’ locker rooms and vice versa, and school officials shouldn’t have to fear losing crucial federal funding when they protect all students’ privacy. Respecting the real differences between boys and girls is right, because that protects the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students.”
Last year Omaha Public Schools considered several policies that would have compromised student privacy rights. Amidst wide-spread opposition, the school board added gender identity to their nondiscrimination policy, but they failed to pass a policy that would have explicitly required OPS schools to allow some students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.
Nebraskans should be encouraged to know that the Department of Justice under President Trump will not actively pursue forcing schools to radically redefine biological realities and compromise student privacy.