The Trump administration has lifted federal protections for transgender students that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, not their biological gender.
The Obama administration put the guidelines in place last year giving transgender students the right to access facilities of their identified gender.
The Associated Press report that without the Obama directive, schools and states will have to interpret federal anti-discrimination law themselves and determine whether or not transgender students can access facilities of their gender identity or biological identity.
The Department of Justice and Department of Education state the decision was made in order to give them a chance to take a closer look at the policy’s legal issues.
“The Department of Justice has a duty to enforce the law,” wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.
“The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX.
“The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance,” he said.
Education secretary Betsy DeVos also issued a statement saying her department “remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools… I consider protecting all students, including LGTBQ students, not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America.”
The announcement has caused massive outrage from members of the LGBTQ community and beyond including Jackie Evancho, the singer who performed at President Trump’s inauguration, who has a transgender sister.
— jackie evancho (@jackieevancho) February 22, 2017
Leaving this decision up to each state could result in a patchwork of inconsistent state laws.