ACLU responds to GOP letter sent to state superintendent - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

ACLU responds to GOP letter sent to state superintendent

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has responded to a letter sent from a group of Mississippi House Republicans to State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright, asking her to step down if she follows the White House directive on protecting transgender students' rights.

Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins issued the following statement:

“The Mississippi GOP Representatives’ response and threat to the State Superintendent is, yet, another step in the wrong direction. Transgender youth are entitled to the same educational opportunities, anti-harassment protections, and expressive freedoms as other students.

The Obama administration’s guidance is simply providing schools with clarity as to the legal obligations that they already had under Title IX.  With this guidance, there should now be absolutely no question as to what schools need to do to ensure they are upholding their obligations under federal civil rights law regarding the treatment of transgender students.

Schools must enforce their dress codes equally and equitably. Schools should permit transgender students to comply with the dress code that reflects their gender identity. The obligation of schools to keep transgender students safe extends to bathrooms and locker rooms. A transgender student should be able to use the bathroom that reflects his or her gender identity. Isolating transgender students, as well as threatening a government official who is asked to follow the law (Title IX), sends, yet, another message that it is acceptable to discriminate in Mississippi. 

The ACLU of Mississippi stands ready to defend any student treated differently because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.  School should be a safe place for all students.”

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