In May 2016, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed into law a bill (HB2) that required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex.  On May 13, 2016, the Obama administration’s Justice Department and the Department of Education responded by sending letters to U.S. public school districts directing them to allow students to use the restrooms (and locker rooms) that matched their gender identity, even if it is different than their gender assigned at birth, and provided additional, detailed guidance on various issues including locker/bathrooms, overnight accommodations, correct gender pronouns, disclosures, and correction of records. (See

The letter advised school districts that it interpreted Title IX regulations to require that, when a school is notified that a “student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous records or representations, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity” instead of their birth-gender.  Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education and education-related activities.  Tying this guidance to Title IX was important because State and local rules cannot limit or override the requirements of Federal laws (34 C.F.R. § 106.6(b)) and a violation of Title IX implicates lawsuits and a threat of loss of federal aid.  (34 C.F.R §§ 106.4 and 106.31(a).)

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