A group of eleven states, including Georgia, are suing the Obama administration over its directive mandating that transgender students be allowed to use whichever restroom matches up with their gender identity, (as opposed to their physical sex).
The lawsuit alleges that the directive oversteps its bounds by expanding federal law without any feedback or debate from either Congress, the judicial system, or the states themselves. Obama’s guidance, while not technically a law itself, would add the protections for transgender students under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on gender in all federally funded public education programs. Ignoring or breaking rules under Title IX could result in states being sued as well as a loss of federal education funding.
Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods last week sent out his own directive that directly countered that of President Obama, ordering public schools statewide to ignore the federal guidelines.
Said Woods, “As this guidance does not have the force of law, you are not required to comply with this directive or make changes to your established actions and policies. However, if the federal government does decide to withhold federal funds, enforce this directive, or bring suit against any district in Georgia because of a decision a local district makes, we will work with all parties to take appropriate action.”
He continued, “My first priority is to ensure our schools are a safe environment for students. I believe there are safety and privacy concerns associated with allowing students of different genders to use the same bathroom and locker rooms. For that reason, I do not believe a student of another gender should use a restroom or locker room alongside students of the opposite sex.”
The Obama administration is unlikely to back down from the lawsuit, so this bathroom brawl doesn’t figure to end anytime soon.