FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2016
Today, the Obama administration made clear in comprehensive, unequivocal language that it is a violation of civil rights law to discriminate against transgender students. The guidance issued today affirms that students have the right to dress, participate in activities and use school facilities – including bathrooms – in accordance with their gender identity. Schools are also required to use the right names and pronouns for transgender students and protect students’ privacy by keeping information about their transgender status confidential. The directive, issued jointly by U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice officials, clarifies that laws like North Carolina’s HB2, which forces transgender students to use restrooms that do not match their gender identity, are in violation of federal law.
Family Equality Council commends this action. “Much of the work we do every day, across the country, revolves around supporting parents and children as they advocate for more welcoming school policies,” said Brent Wright, Interim Co-Executive Director and Director of Programs at Family Equality Council. “That’s why this clear language from the government on how transgender students must be treated in school is so crucial. It provides much-needed guidance to administrators and teachers on how to best provide safe and welcoming schools for transgender students. Guidance like this from the federal government empowers all families to advocate on behalf of their children at the local level.”
This directive from the federal government couldn’t be more timely. In early May, Family Equality Council supported the work of the Candia, New Hampshire, Board of Education as they passed a transgender-inclusive restroom policy amidst very vocal opposition. “Family Equality Council provided greatly-appreciated resources and support in our efforts to pass the policy by a four-to-one vote. Even in a community like ours, where our own family has been embraced, we still had very vocal opposition to this policy,” said Nicole LaFlamme, Chair of the Candia, NH, School Board, who is raising 8-year-old twins with her wife, Kerry. “Today, the federal government took a giant step forward in providing the tools and resources to help parents, especially in small communities like ours. We will now be able to ensure that all children here are given every opportunity to thrive and learn in safe, welcoming and supportive educational environments.”
For TV, newspaper and web interviews with Wright or LaFlamme, contact Media Manager Bradley Jacobs at 917-324-8771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Family Equality Council: Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country today and their six million children of all ages. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBTQ. We are a community of parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For over 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.