BERWYN, Pa., Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent developments have prompted ATIXA to revise and reissue its position statement on the protections of transgender and transitioning people under Title IX. The arguments for inclusion remain largely unchanged, however the history of the issue has been edited to reflect changes in the current political winds.
This ATIXA position statement reflects the importance of protections for gender nonconformity, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning and transgender status conferred by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Allegations of such discrimination should be subject to a civil rights, equity-based response from any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. ATIXA strongly endorses and supports these protections and encourages their full implementation within all schools, colleges and universities subject to Title IX.
Because the verbiage of Title IX itself is broad in its protections, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) interpretation of the law has evolved over time, progressively focusing on employment discrimination, equity in athletics, sexual harassment and sexual violence. OCR and the courts are now debating whether the Title IX lens should focus on the rights of gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals to ensure their access to the full benefits of federally funded educational programs.
As schools establish new policy and turn toward best practices now in the absence of federal guidance, ATIXA encourages broad consideration of the very real barriers to education faced by students identifying as transgender. To be clear, schools are now free to protect transgender and transitioning students as much as they want, unless there is state law to the contrary, and many state laws explicitly include gender identity and expression as protected classes.
ATIXA supports gender nonconforming and transgender individuals enrolled and/or employed by schools and colleges and welcomes the diversity they bring. ATIXA hopes that its members will endeavor to assure that school and college communities will be safe, hospitable and supportive for those gender nonconforming and transgender individuals within our communities.
ABOUT ATIXA Founded in 2011, ATIXA is the nation's only membership association dedicated solely to compliance with Title IX and the support of our more than 3,000 administrator members who hold Title IX responsibilities in schools and colleges. ATIXA is the leading provider of Title IX training and certification, having certified more than 3,000 Title IX coordinators and more than 8,000 Title IX investigators since 2011. ATIXA releases position statements on matters of import to our members and the field, as authorized by the ATIXA Board of Advisors. For more information, visit www.atixa.org.
 Simply speaking, transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to a person's internal sense of being male, female or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics. An individual who is transgender may exhibit behavior ranging from a boy wearing fingernail polish to someone having surgery to change their sex, although not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-nonconforming will identify as a transgender person.
SOURCE Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)