News Room

Education Law Center applauds new Title IX guidance affirming protections for transgender students

May 13, 2016

The Education Law Center applauds the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education for today’s important guidance clarifying that Title IX, the law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs, protects transgender students. It makes clear that transgender students have the right to equal educational opportunities and to be educated in a positive school climate that is free from discrimination.

The Department of Education also released examples of best practices and policies, drawing upon the work that schools and partners across the country are already doing to support transgender students.

Here in Pennsylvania, we recognize Allegheny County Department of Human Services for its work and partnership in fostering collaborative, cross-system conversations about how we can best promote positive educational outcomes for LGBTQ youth in Allegheny County.

We also see Pittsburgh Public Schools leading the way with a new district-wide nondiscrimination policy for transgender students, developed with input from students, parents, educators, and advocates. This policy is in addition to the strengthened protections ELC advocated for in 2014, which resulted in stronger rules against harassment and bullying, more information about how to seek help and support, and a revised dress code that gives students the right to dress in accordance with their gender.

We still have a long way to go towards ensuring that schools are safe, inclusive, and affirming for all students, but today’s guidance represents an important step.

Related Coverage

  • In April, ELC Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman was quoted in TribLive on the need for positive school climate and policies that make schools safe and free from discrimination for all students.
  • In 2014, ELC was featured in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ effort to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline and increase protections and supports for LGBTQ students, parenting students, and English language learners.