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Attorney General advises W.Va. schools on transgender policy change


The Journal of Martinsburg
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  — In the wake of President Trump’s change on transgender policy in schools, West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey sent out a letter to state and county education officials Friday to explain the policy changes.

President Trump revoked the Obama-era guidance that threatened federal retribution against local school districts that refused to admit students to the bathrooms, locker rooms, dormitories and athletic teams of their choice.

“I have been and remain committed to defending our schools’ authority over their own policies,”Morrisey said. “The Trump letter removes any threat of federal government action against states and schools that choose to maintain their lawful policy preference of declining to admit students to sex-segregated facilities on the bases of their professed gender identity.”

Morrisey sent the letter to the state’s superintendent of schools, the department of education and county boards of education. It emphasized that state and local school districts can set their own education policy. He also stressed in the letter, the county’s responsibility to ensure all LGBT students, “are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”

This was not the first letter Morrisey has sent out to state and local leaders regarding transgender policy.

In two prior letters, he said Obama’s guidance carried no force of law. He also said his office would fight any use of the OBama policy to eliminate funding to local schools. In both of his previous letters, Morrisey argued that Obama guidance unlawfully changed the word “sex” in several federal laws from that based on biology to include a person’s self-professed gender identity.

The Attorney General won two related court cases, including a nationwide injunction against Obama’s guidance in August 2016 and a case persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a related appeal arising out of Gloucester County, Virginia.

Staff writer Jennifer R. Young can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 182.


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