Education Dept. dismissing complaints from transgender students about bathroom access: report

Education Dept. dismissing complaints from transgender students about bathroom access: report
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE has thrown out several complaints from transgender students who alleged that their schools discriminated against them by barring them from using the bathroom of their choice.

A Politico article published over the weekend said that out of 107 Title IX (sex-based discrimination) complaints filed with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights since January 2014, six involved bathroom access for transgender students. Five of those complaints were dismissed by the Trump administration, according to a review of the dismissal letters and other documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

The sixth complaint has been stalled for months with no updates, Politico reported.

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The Education Department told Politico in a statement that it was “committed to defending the civil rights of all students and ensuring all students have an equal opportunity to learn in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.” 

The department added that it would use “current law and current regulation to determine if any child in school is being harassed or discriminated against due to race, sex or disability.”

The article's findings come months after the Education Department confirmed that it would not investigate or act on bathroom complaints from transgender students.

An Education Department spokeswoman said in February that the agency does not consider such complaints to be covered by Title IX anti-discrimination laws, saying the policy “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity.”

The issue of bathroom use has been at the forefront of the fight for transgender rights, and the topic has been particularly contentious in schools.

In February 2017, the Trump administration rolled back guidance put in place by former President Obama that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Trump has said that transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing, but his administration has made several moves hurting transgender rights, according to critics who point to actions such as Trump’s attempted ban on transgender troops serving in the military and the Justice Department's ending of workplace protections for transgender people.