What You Must Know to Comply With the New Title IX Guidance on Transgender Students


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The recent Title IX guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice takes a strong stand on the rights of transgender students: The gender the student identifies with must be considered the student’s sex by the school community.

For school officials, this raises many questions and issues around use of bathroom and locker facilities, participation in sports and data privacy of school records.

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The May 13, 2016 guidance claims not to create new requirements–just clarify existing law. But, any educational agency or institution receiving federal funds risks the loss of funding for non-compliance. While more than a dozen states have gone to court to challenge the contents of the guidance, few school districts are willing to jeopardize funding by taking a wait-and-see approach.

Do you need a firmer understanding of what is required of you to comply with the new guidance? Do you have questions about how best to make changes in your policies and practices?

Join lawyer Jennifer Segal and high school principal Thomas Aberli for a 90-minute webinar that will review your legal requirements,  explain the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of how Title IX applies to transgender students and provide you with examples of best practices. Jennifer and Tom will discuss communications with students and families on this controversial issue. You’ll also receive a list of resources on how other schools and communities are responding to the new Title IX guidance.

Webinar Topics:

  • The challenges transgender students face in school
  • Legal rights of transgender students under Title IX, i.e. access to bathrooms, locker rooms, sports participation, student data privacy rights, protection from bullying and harassment
  • What educational entities are responsible for ensuring compliance; consequences and enforcement of noncompliance
  • How to assess your programs, facilities and activities in light of the current guidance.
  • Best practices for meeting requirements and your obligations to transgender students
  • How to address concerns of parents and school community
  • State lawsuits filed in response to Dear Colleague letter: Is there a possibility of a legislative change?

About the Speakers

Thomas AberliThomas Aberli, Ed.D, principal of J. M. Atherton High School, Louisville, KY, has become a leading voice of support and guidance for administrators on the issue of gender identity in schools. The U.S. Department of Education cited Atherton’s policy on school space as a national model of a transgender-inclusive policy in Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students (May 2016).

Tom has appeared on numerous national news programs, presented at Kentucky’s Education Law Institute and authored an article, The Reality of Gender Identity in Schools,” for Kentucky School Leader magazine. Tom serves on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, the Principal’s Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of Education and was selected by the governor as a member of the Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force and the state’s School Curriculum, Assessment and Accountability Council. Tom began his career as a high school math and physics teacher.


Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.14.19 PMJennifer Segal is an attorney specializing in education law at the Washington, DC office of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC. Jennifer assists clients with fiscal and programmatic compliance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.

Jennifer represents clients in adverse audit and program review determinations and in civil rights complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. She also participates in individualized education program team meetings on behalf of charter schools throughout the DC area and represents local educational agencies in IDEA due process hearings.

Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Ms. Segal clerked in the abuse and neglect division at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and worked as an associate at a special education law firm in Baltimore.