In light of what is commonly referred to as the North Carolina bathroom law and the Obama Administration’s guidance letter to public schools, transgender politics and bathroom use has become a national issue.
The letter, issued Friday by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, ties its guidelines to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which “prohibit sex discrimination in education programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance.” Many have interpreted it as a direct response to the North Carolina law, which prohibits transgender individuals from using locker rooms and bathrooms not consistent with the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Highlights of the letter include schools allowing students to use locker rooms or bathrooms based on their gender identity, not necessarily their gender at birth, to “ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex,” even if “other students, parents or community members raise objections or concerns.”
Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) spokesman Chris Eftychiou said the letter affirms the school district’s current practices and policies.
“Our school district already complies with the letter’s guidance on facilities such as restrooms,” said Eftychiou in a statement. “We allow students to use restrooms based upon the gender that they identify with, and we provide other options such as single-user restrooms if students want more privacy."
He went on to say the letter’s aim, to “create and sustain inclusive, supporting, safe nondiscriminatory communities for all students” is “important” to the LBUSD and “central to our daily work.”