Equity & Diversity

Transgender Students: Texas to Continue ‘Bathroom Bill’ Debate in Special Session

By Evie Blad — June 06, 2017 1 min read
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants lawmakers to consider placing restrictions on school restroom access for transgender students—one among a list of 19 issues he outlined for a special legislative session set to begin July 18.

North Carolina is the only state that has enacted a so-called “bathroom bill” that restricts access to school facilities at the state level. Abbott, a Republican, has pushed Texas to adopt a similar measure for public buildings, but lawmakers failed to reach an agreement during their regular legislative session.

The Obama administration previously asserted that Title IX, the federal gender non-discrimination law, guarantees the rights of transgender students to access bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, even if it differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. But the administration of Donald Trump lifted that guidance shortly after he took office, bringing an end to a multi-state lawsuit led by Texas that said the federal guidance threatened the privacy rights of students.

Texas lawmakers will consider the 19 items on Abbott’s agenda, including the item related to transgender students, after they pass “key legislation that would keep some state agencies from shuttering,” the Texas Tribune reports.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.