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Federal Order On Transgender Student Protections Unlikely To Affect Oregon Students


An all-gender restroom is seen at the Golden 1 Center, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, in Sacramento, California.

An all-gender restroom is seen at the Golden 1 Center, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, in Sacramento, California.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

School officials in Oregon released advice this week ahead of an announcement from the Trump administration regarding transgender student protections.

President Trump rescinded earlier guidance to schools for transgender students issued under President Obama.

Obama had ordered transgender students be accommodated in public schools and facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms.

By removing the guidance, the Trump administration deferred to states and school districts to interpret whether Title IX protects students based on their biological sex or their gender identity, NPR reported:

The Justice and Education Departments said [Wednesday] the Obama documents do 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.”

Analysts of education law in Oregon suggest the changes at the federal level are unlikely to alter policy here. Oregon School Boards Association attorney Spencer Lewis said state law should remain clear for schools, and reassuring for transgender students.

“They should know that Oregon law does protect them,” Lewis said. “The Oregon guidance is still in place, and there are protections for transgender students out there.”

Lewis pointed out that Oregon is allowed to go beyond federal guidelines to protect certain groups of people, such as transgender students.

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