Parents should be able to choose their bathroom based on their own personal preferences, not a school’s policy.
That’s because the new rule that went into effect Tuesday prohibits schools from requiring bathrooms that are more gender-specific than other students’ bathrooms.
Schools could still opt to accommodate students who do not identify with a gender on their birth certificate, but those students would have to use separate bathrooms to use the facilities.
The new rule is aimed at improving the health and safety of all children.
In a statement, the National Center for Transgender Equality said the rule was an important step to improve the lives of transgender and gender nonconforming students.
“We’re pleased that the Trump Administration is moving forward on this important change that will help make transgender and non-conforming youth feel safe and supported,” the group said.
The change came after a recent wave of transgender bullying at schools in the nation’s capital and in Virginia, where two school board members announced that they would not allow their students to use bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity.
That prompted parents to petition the White House to overturn the rule.
The White House announced last month that it was expanding the definition of a “bathroom” to include any public space, including restrooms, locker rooms, showers and changing facilities, in schools.
Transgender students in Virginia said they had been bullied for years, and the White Street Alliance for Transgender Youth, an advocacy group for transgender youth, said it has received more than 5,000 complaints about transgender students in the state.
The administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
The rule has already been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, which said it was an attempt to “discriminate against transgender people.”
The Associated Press’ Julie Pace contributed to this report.