Affiliate: ACLU of Arkansas
May 25, 2016 11:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Arkansas
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In a letter to Governor Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Rita Sklar urged state leadership to follow the law when it comes to equality for transgender students in public schools, including access to restrooms.

The letter states:

“The law has been established for years that barring a student from single-sex facilities or activities based on that student’s gender identity because he or she is transgender constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title IX,” said Sklar in the letter. “It is per se sex discrimination because this differential treatment is based on the student’s gender transition; it is also impermissible sex stereotyping because the student is being denied access based on a failure to conform to gender stereotypes.”

The Obama administration recently issued guidelines to American public schools in an effort to clarify that transgender people have equal rights that are protected under the law.

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson almost immediately issued a statement telling schools to ignore those guidelines, saying that Arkansas schools are not even faced with these issues. Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge soon followed suit.

“Arkansas schools have been working to accommodate transgender students for years,” said Sklar, “sometimes with guidance from the ACLU of Arkansas on the law. These statements from government leaders only confuse the issue, make schools subject to liability, and, most importantly, counteract the need to protect transgender students from further marginalization and susceptibility to bullying.”

The Department of Education and the Department of Justice released comprehensive guidance on how Title IX protects transgender youth from discrimination and harm in schools. The DOE also compiled examples of good policies and practices that schools across the country are already using.

Read the full letter here:

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