Recently, A high school boy named Gavin fought all the way to the Supreme Court to have the right to use the bathroom that his classmates also use. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week. I found this out through repeatedly seeing reference to Gavin on my Twitter feed. I decided to read some of the articles that were shared and ended up being excited because the conversation included Title IX. Title IX which I have been reading and writing about a good chunk of the last year. The case is entwined in Title IX. It’s about Title IX usage in a way different from what I’ve ben looking at with sexual assault.
In May of 2016, Obama put out a guidance for Title IX so that it would be inclusive of transgender students at federally funded schools. Trump rescinded that guidance, with his teams help, claiming that Obama’s interpretation of Title IX wasn’t the right interpretation. Saying that the written guidance did not,
“contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process. This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms.”
So Obama’s documents did not explain how Title IX related to this apparent issue of bathroom usage? Let’s look at Title IX for a second,
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
That only took a second. Title IX is short and gets straight to the point, you cannot be excluded from education programs that have federal funding based on sex. It started out as a policy to make sure women we’re being treated differently in the classroom than their man classmates. Let’s make sure everyone gets to go to school for as long as they want. Title IX has been expanded to cover sexual harassment and sexual assault at schools because these are the embodiment of sex-based discrimination.
Legislating bathroom use does not seem like a productive use of our time, most people know which bathroom is the one for them and it’s really only their job to decide. So, when a school tried to say, “hey, we don’t want to let you use that bathroom anymore because of your sex.” It’s something that would fall under sex-based discrimination, holding someone back from accessing an integral part of being in school for the majority of the day.
My Twitter feed blew up last week talking about Gavin’s case, sharing articles about the explanations and what this means moving forward and most importantly standing with Transgender students and their right to make their own lavatory decisions.
Being able to share news and stories within your Twitter community can really expand the resources you have available. I follow End Rape on Campus on Twitter and they retweeted Lambda Legal which I now follow! Follow me at @SociSiry