SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016 - 7

FEATURE New Federal Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Access BY CAITLIN JUNG, CAPITOL ADVISORS GROUP T he rights of transgender students has been a major topic of discussion in the education field in recent years. With the recent letter sent to schools by the Federal Government on the right of transgender students to use facilities that align with their gender identity, questions have been raised about how this will affect California schools. Below is an overview of the current law in California, the joint federal guidance sent out in May, and what to expect in the future. CURRENT CALIFORNIA LAW California law already explicitly requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1266 (D - Ammiano), the "School Success and Opportunity Act," which amended the Education Code to require that "a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records." "Facilities" under the act includes both bathrooms and locker rooms. Furthermore, the California Department of Education (CDE) provides that when determining whether a student is transgender, a school cannot require a student to provide a particular diagnosis or proof of medical treatment in order to be protected. The CDE also states there is no specific point in a student's social transition that the student must reach in order for his or her gender identity to be recognized by his or her school. NEW FEDERAL GUIDANCE In May, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice (the Departments) issued a joint letter in response to the increasing number of questions they were receiving about civil rights protections for transgender students. The letter doesn't create any new requirements but "provides information and examples to inform recipients about how the Departments evaluate whether covered entities are complying with their legal obligations" under Title IX and, according to the Departments, should be taken as "significant guidance." TITLE IX PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST TRANSGENDER STUDENTS Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that are operated by recipients who receive federal funding, like public schools. In the letter, the Departments treat a student's gender identity as the student's sex for purpose of Title IX and its implementing regulations. Therefore, the guidance states, SSDA TODAY | WWW.SSDA.ORG 7 http://WWW.SSDA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016

Executive Director's Column
New Federal Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Access
List of Initiatives Headed to November Ballot Long and Diverse
Ballot Measure Wild Card: Gov. Jerry Brown
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Technology: Education Innovation Alliance
Is Your Compensation “Creditable” Towards Retirement? New CalSTRS Regulations Seek to Further Clarify the Answer
Super Strong: The Extraordinary Nature of Leadership Resilience
News and Notes
Advertiser's Index

SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016