- McDonald, Christina K.
- Industry Alerts
Click “Subscribe Now” to get attorney insights on the latest developments in a range of services and industries.
On February 22, 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration issued a two-page "Dear Colleague" letter that formally rescinded the Obama administration’s interpretation of transgender student rights as an extension of Title IX.
In May 2016, former President Barack Obama’s Education Department issued guidance in the form of a letter instructing public schools that they must allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that align with the student’s gender identity. The guidance covered other issues, including the importance of addressing transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns and schools’ responsibility to prevent harassment and bullying of transgender children. The guidance was issued in response to queries from school districts across the country about how to accommodate transgender students in gender-segregated bathrooms, and as an interpretation of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education.
The Trump administration’s letter withdrew the Obama administration’s May 2016 guidance and interpretation of transgender rights as an extension of Title IX. The letter explained that the Obama administration’s guidance failed to "contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process". The letter does not offer new guidance, but does advise that the Trump administration wants to "further and more completely consider the legal issues involved" and that there must be "due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy."
The letter also advises that "schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment." In support of the letter, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stated that the decision was needed to "protect every student in America and ensure they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment." Secretary DeVos added that the transgender student bathroom issue is one that is "best solved at the state and local levels. Schools, communities, and families can find – and in many cases have found – solutions that protect all students."
In September 2016, Michigan’s Board of Education issued voluntary guidance addressing the transgender student bathroom issue. The Board’s guidance recommended that school districts allow students to use bathrooms in conformity with their gender identity. The guidelines were drafted in response to requests from educators across the state. The guidance also shares best practices already in place at many schools across Michigan.
Though the Trump administration’s letter is set to go to the nation’s public schools, it will not have an immediate affect as the Obama administrations’ policy was blocked by a federal court shortly after its issuance. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case dealing with the issue of transgender student rights (Gloucester County School Board v. GG) on March 28, 2017.
This client alert is published by Dickinson Wright PLLC to inform our clients and friends of important developments in the field of employment law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sherry D. O’Neal is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. She can be reached at 313.223.3871 or firstname.lastname@example.org a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. She can be reached at 313.223.3871 or email@example.com.
Jeffrey E. Ammons is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Troy office. He can be reached at 313.223.3122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina K. McDonald is Member in Dickinson Wright’s Grand Rapids office. She can be reached at 616.336.1039 or email@example.com Member in Dickinson Wright’s Grand Rapids office. She can be reached at 616.336.1039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carmen L. Dorris is an Associate in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. She can be reached at 313.223.3031 or email@example.com.
For a printable version of this labor and employment client alert, click here.
- Industry Alerts The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Industry Alerts One Minute You’re In, the Next, You’re Out: NLRB Vacates the Short-Lived Hy-Brand Decision and Reinstates the Browning-Ferris’ Joint Employer Standard
- Seminars MDTC Winter Meeting 2017- Law Practice: The Next Generation on November 10, 2017
- February 19, 2024 In the News Christina McDonald Named a “Notable Woman in Law” by Crain’s Grand Rapids Business
- November 28, 2023 In the News Five Dickinson Wright Attorneys Recognized in 2023 Mid-South Super Lawyers
- October 23, 2023 In the News David Deromedi Named a Notable Leader in Labor & Employment Law by Crain Detroit Business
- June 1, 2023 In the News Dickinson Wright Receives Top Rankings in 2023 Chambers USA Guide; 43 Attorneys Recognized as Leaders in their Fields
- January 26, 2023 Industry Alerts Tick Tock – Michigan Employers Are on the Earned Sick Time Clock
- January 20, 2023 Industry Alerts Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Clauses | 連邦取引委員会による競業避止条項の禁止に関する規則の提案