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Florida school administrators await decision on school bathrooms

The issue of gender identity and transgender has been a hotly contested issue since last year when the Obama administration sent national guidelines to public schools as it relates to the use of school bathrooms for transgender students.

A number of school districts in Florida have dealt with the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Virginia school district case concerning the issue. For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, the issue is more than one of just school bathroom policies.

The issue at the heart of the matter is gender identification. An issue that has usually been resolved for most once they reach adulthood. However, since this battle is happening at the school level during individual's formative years, those policies can have a detrimental impact on a person moving forward in his or her lives.

Many schools have failed to comply with the federal directive, arguing that students should have to use the bathroom based upon their gender at the birth. The goal is for the law, as it relates to bathroom usage, to be applied uniformly and fairly.

The Supreme Court case in question will center around two questions. The first is whether the Obama administration utilized proper administrative procedure in their notification to schools that transgender students should be permitted to use bathrooms consistent with the gender they identify.

Second, a question surrounds whether transgender students, who the law is aimed to protect, are supposed to be treated consistently with the gender they most identify with. The decision to make sense the position of U.S. law as it relates to situations such as this rests in the hands of the Supreme Court.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of gender identity discrimination in either a public or private school setting, seeking out the advice and counsel of an experienced education law attorney, may provide you with insight to your rights and responsibilities as it relates to filing a civil rights claim.

Source: WLRN.org, "Florida school districts among those awaiting Supreme Court school bathroom hearings," Cathy Carter, Jan. 09, 2017

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