Friday, July 26, 2013

United States Reaches Agreement with Arcadia, California, School District to Resolve Sex Discrimination Allegations

There are a number of Facebook and blog postings declaring to the effect that the agreement (see my blog post yesterday morning) was “Hugh win for trans-students” or “All schools must allow students to use the bathrooms of their gender identity” well that is not quite true. It was a great victory but the agreement only covers the Arcadia, California, School District. This was not a ruling like the EEOC last year on employment nor was it a court case so it doesn’t have broad coverage; it just covers the Arcadia, CA School District. It does not affect all federally funded schools nationwide.

However, what it does show is that the Department of Justice believes that the laws do cover gender identity and expression and that the laws also cover sex-segregated facilities. There have been a number of schools in Connecticut that refuse to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity and require them to use a staff bathroom or a gender neutral bathroom. The CT law is vague about sex-segregated facilities; the CHRO takes the position that sex-segregated facilities are covered under the law but some school districts point out that there has never been any court ruling to back-up their opinion. This agreement between the DOJ and the Arcadia, CA School District will make those CT school district rethink their policy.

1 comment:

  1. Diana - thanks for keeping us informed. OCR has been waiting for the Arcadia case to settle because it does set a precedent. I see it as more ammunition to force compliance. But you are correct, we need a good test case in CT to solidify that part of the law.