FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 26, 2016
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, (786) 363-2737
OCALA, FL – The ACLU of Florida has sent a letter to the members of the Marion County School Board in advance of a vote on a proposed policy that would prevent transgender students in the district from using bathroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, warning that the policy would be unlawful.
The letter, written by ACLU of Florida LGBT rights staff attorney Daniel Tilley, warns that banning transgender students from using the bathrooms that correspond with the gender they live every day would not only be profoundly harmful to students, but would also violate Title IX sex discrimination requirements, violate the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, and jeopardize federal funding for the school district.
From the letter:
“Excluding transgender students from the same restrooms used by other students that correspond to their gender identity would send a message to transgender students and their peers that transgender students should be treated differently and that their mere presence in the same facilities used by their peers is unacceptable. When transgender students are required to use separate facilities, it does not go unnoticed by other students. Being separated from other students in this way would be damaging to anyone, but it is especially harmful for transgender children. Transgender children are at heightened risk of stress and victimization by other children and adults, and those stressors can lead to problems in adulthood, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidality.
“Allowing transgender students to use the same restrooms used by other students in accordance with their gender identity is necessary to comply with Title IX and constitutional equal-protection principles. To do otherwise would impair students’ ability to learn, grow, and thrive in the school environment. Research shows that denying transgender people access to restrooms that correspond to the gender they live every day has a serious impact on transgender people, impacting their education, employment, health, and participation in public life. Conversely, full acceptance of a student’s gender identity—including allowing them access to gender-appropriate restrooms—can promote a positive educational experience. “I hope you will consider this letter as you prepare to vote on Resolution No. 16-001, a resolution that would violate not only Title IX but the federal constitution.”
The full letter is available here: http://aclufl.org/resources/marion-schools-letter-transgender-students/
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