Throwing caution to the wind, I'm going to jump in here, because there's a lot of misinformation around on both sides of this issue.
In short, last May, the Obama Justice and Education departments put out a joint letter telling schools what they had to do about transgender students in order to conform to Title IX protections. Title IX is about not allowing schools to discriminate on the basis of sex. Here's a Wikilink for you if you want to know more about it.
The joint letter, which is a "non-legal binding guideline", tells schools that for the purposes of Title IX, they are going to treat discrimination on the basis of gender identity as a subset of discrimination on the basis of sex. "Non-legal" means that it isn't the result of a law being passed. "Binding guideline" means that they're telling you the interpretation of an already existing law that's going to be used from now on.
If you'd like to see the whole letter, it's here. I looked it up, because it seems to me that most people only know about this what they've read online, and leftist sources are saying, "It's defending the poor kids", and rightist sources are saying, "It's shoving an agenda down our throats", and both sides are kind of stupid if they don't actually look to see what the letter said.
First of all, it's not just about bathrooms. It's also about access to gender-segregated classes. If there's a boys-only class, can the child be in it or not? Ditto for girls-only classes. But it's the bathrooms and locker rooms that have people all up in arms, because no one wants their little girl to have to go into a locker room with other kids who have penises. And I know, there are people on the far left who say that this is judgmental. Fine. But it's normal.
Here's the money quote from the letter:
The Departments interpret Title IX to require that when a student or the student's parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student's gender identity. Under Title IX, there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity. Because transgender students often are unable to obtain identification documents that reflect their gender identity (e.g., due to restrictions imposed by state or local law in their place of birth or residence), requiring students to produce such identification documents in order to treat them consistent with their gender identity may violate Title IX when doing so has the practical effect of limiting or denying students equal access to an educational program or activity.
Basically, no standard whatsoever exists for a claim of having a different gender identity. A student can literally, according to this guideline, walk into school one day, go to the office and say, "I'm a boy now" or "I'm a girl now", without changing anything about themselves, and the school has to accept it or be in violation of Title IX. A boy can have facial hair and look like a jock, but if he says he's a girl, everyone has to go along with it. A girl can wear dresses and makeup every day, but if she says she's a boy, that's it.
Of course that's not what sane people who care about the welfare of trans kids want. And it's not what children who are actually transsexual would do. But the Obama administration pushed this thing to the furthest extreme possible. They could have put in criteria for determining if someone is just messing around or is the real deal, but since the modern "trans" agenda is more about breaking down societal gender norms and less about actual people with actual gender dysphoria who actually need to transition, they didn't do that.
So the Trump administration issued a new letter that withdraws the one from the Obama administration. But here's the money quote from that one:
These guidance documents do not, however, contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.
In addition, the Departments believe that, in this context, there must be due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.
In these circumstances, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved. The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.
Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.
This isn't going to get President Trump chosen as Grand Marshall for this year's Pride Parade, but it's also not exactly the "lynch the trannies" position that the anti-Trump folks are painting it as. And they should consider that if the Obama administration had gone less bonkers to the extreme left, this act by the Trump administration might never have been necessary. I hope that the Trump administration will issue a new guideline that's more moderate than the gonzo Obama one.
For the record, I would have done almost anything to have been able to transition when I was young instead of waiting. But there needs to be some courtesy and consideration given on both sides of this debate. It may be hurtful to a young person to have to use a separate bathroom, such as a teacher's bathroom. But it needn't be a humiliation if they aren't primed to see it that way. Things take time. Transition is a process. Feeding the desire for immediate gratification does no one any good.Suggest a correction