The federal government sent a letter Friday to public schools across the country, laying out what they’re required to do to protect the rights of transgender students.
The federal directive says schools must allow a student’s gender identity — not necessarily the sex listed on their birth certificate — to dictate which bathroom they may use and whether they can play for the girls’ or boys’ sports team.
The guidance is unlikely to cause much protest among Massachusetts educators though, according to John Provost, the superintendent of the Northampton Public Schools.
“I feel that the federal guidance, in a lot of ways, just affirms what the state has been telling us to do and what we have been doing for transgender students since 2011,” Provost said.
The situation is much the same in Connecticut because of a state law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.
The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice say schools across the country are bound by the federal government’s mandate and could face the loss of funding if they don’t comply.