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ATIXA: Schools Must Protect LGBT, Gender Non-Conforming Students from Harassment

The ATIXA’s statement clarifies its broadened definition of sex-based discrimination.

The Association of Title IX Administrators released a statement to schools emphasizing the importance of protecting LGBT or gender-nonconforming students from harassment.

The association, known as ATIXA, stressed that discrimination based on gender identity, gender transitioning and transgender status violates Title IX.

The statement was meant to clarify longstanding rules on gender discrimination, as the association acknowledged “OCR has not yet clarified whether Title IX covers discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived gender identity.”

The ATIXA said it hopes the OCR will follow its more broad position on gender discrimination and gave suggestions to schools to ensure they comply with the new definition. The suggestions are listed below.

  • Show flexibility in housing assignments to reflect gender identity-based preferences
  • Retrofit and design new facilities to create gender-inclusive restroom access without stigmatizing or identifying users
  • Create work-arounds that allow for locker room access without stigma
  • Include briefings on and protections for gender nonconforming and transgender individuals in school and college Title IX trainings and prevention programs
  • Cultivate a culture of understanding about individuals’ name and pronoun choices, including proactively requesting information on health and academic records

The Transgender Law Center found that two to five percent of the population is transgender (which is defined as “experiencing some degree of gender fluidity”). The center also found that members of the LGBT community and the transgender, genderqueer, questioning and noncomforming (TGQN) community are more likely than their peers “to experience verbal harassment, exclusion and physical attacks at school.”

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