Dear Colleague Letter Transgender Students
Department of Education (ED) and Department of Justice (DOJ), 2016
Recently, questions have arisen from school districts, colleges and universities, and others about transgender students and how to best ensure these students, and non-transgender students, can all enjoy a safe and discrimination-free environment. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status. To assist schools across the country in creating and sustaining inclusive, supportive, safe, and nondiscriminatory communities for all students, this letter summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students and explains how the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations. ED and DOJ have determined that this letter is significant guidance. In addition to this joint Title IX guidance, the ED's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education also released Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students, a compilation of policies and practices that schools across the country are already using to support transgender students.