Fargo, N.D. – The Departments of Education and Justice last week announced comprehensive guidance that requires schools to treat transgender students in accordance with their gender identity.

Jennifer Cook, Policy Director of the ACLU of North Dakota has issued the following reaction to Superintendent of Public Instruction Kristin Baesler’s comments in the Fargo Forum regarding the federal guidance:

“With the guidance issued last week, the Departments of Education and Justice have made it clear that that under federal law, all students, including transgender students, are entitled to a school environment free from discrimination, harassment, and violence. This guidance is simply providing schools with clarity as to the legal obligations that they already had under Title IX.  There should now be absolutely no question as to what schools in North Dakota need to do to ensure they are upholding their obligations under federal civil rights law regarding the treatment of transgender students. The bottom line is transgender students have the same rights to dignity and respect as everybody else.”

Contact: Jennifer Cook, 701-478-9924, jcook@aclu.org