The battle over bathroom access for transgender students is heating up. The U.S. departments of Justice and Education issued a directive last month for the nation’s schools to allow students access to the restrooms, locker rooms, and sex-segregated activities that match their gender identities. That guidance carries with it an implicit threat that schools found in violation could lose federal education funding.
Supporters of the directive argue that Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, applies to gender identity as well.
But opponents, including a group of states that has sued over the federal guidance, argue that the agencies are misinterpreting the law and overstepping their legal authority.
Stuck in the middle of the legal battle are transgender students, who say that their needs at school extend well beyond bathrooms, as well as schools in some states that must choose whether to follow the lead of the federal rule or of outspoken state leaders who oppose it.
Education Week Special Correspondent Yasmeen Qureshi profiles a transgender student who worked with educators at her Kentucky high school to create a welcoming environment for all students.
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