The Education Department Officially Won't Deal With Transgender Students Experiencing Bathroom Discrimination

The Trump administration’s Education Department will no longer investigate complaints filed by transgender students who are kept from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, a department official told BuzzFeed News.

HuffPost previously reported that the Department of Education had already started telling students who submitted these complaints that the issue no longer fell within its jurisdiction, but this marks the first time an official has referenced a concrete policy change. The news comes almost a year after the departments of Justice and Education rescinded joint, Obama-era guidance that any school receiving federal money must treat a student’s gender identity as his or her sex, which included allowing individuals to use the bathroom conforming to their identity. 

However, since that time, the Trump administration has been mum on information about how the Education Department’s civil rights division would officially handle these cases. In June, an internal memo from the department’s Office for Civil Rights told attorneys that these cases could be dismissed, but it was not necessarily a requirement. But a spokeswoman for the Department of Education told BuzzFeed that the administration does not interpret Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination, to cover these types of cases.

“Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX,” Liz Hill told BuzzFeed. “In the case of bathrooms, however, long standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”

Hill told the outlet that transgender student complaints could still be investigated, just not those centered around the use of intimate facilities. 

The Obama administration interpreted Title IX to include discrimination based on gender identity. Notably, a wave of recent court decisions have also interpreted the law this way.

In January, HuffPost learned of at least three recent cases in which the Office for Civil Rights dismissed complaints filed by transgender students regarding access to bathrooms, locker rooms and gender specific sports teams. The Office for Civil Rights wrote back to complainants and said their office was no longer required to deal with this type of discrimination.

HuffPost also previously learned that the number of complaints filed with the Department of Education related to the treatment of transgender students dropped precipitously, by about 40 percent, between January 2016 through January 2017, and January 2017 through January 2018. At the time, advocates for LGBTQ students told HuffPost they worried that the Trump administration was having a chilling effect on the students who would otherwise submit complaints of discrimination.

Upon rescinding the Obama-era guidance last year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with a small group of transgender children and families to discuss issues facing this group of students. Vanessa Ford attended the meeting with her six-year-old transgender daughter, Ellie. During the meeting, DeVos mentioned that she had a young granddaughter, just like Ellie.

Ford told HuffPost that she found the news today “mind boggling.”

“We put our family at risk meeting with her in hopes it would make change. She now made the decision for the Department of Education that my daughter and thousands of daughters and sons shouldn’t have the protection her grandchildren should be afforded,” said Ford.

Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said that after the Trump administration first rescinded the student guidance last year, they saw school districts who had been supporting transgender students suddenly change course. She is now focused on making sure they feel supported and affirmed across the country.

“They are not alone,” said Byard. “It is ultimately most important right now every transgender student understands right now that this is wrong.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Artist turns bathroom into magical nature spot using recycled materials

Bathrooms are typically utilitarian places where one goes in to do one’s private “business.” Australia-based artist and fashion designer Roza Khamitova, who’s the creative spirit behind the label Shovava, had other ideas. Having accumulated many sketches over the years while designing her signature line of illustrated scarves and clothing, Khamitova decided to recycle some of these sketches by layering them onto her blank bathroom walls.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

The results are stunning, transforming a boring bathroom into a magical spot decorated with drawings of flora and fauna. As she describes on Bored Panda:

I started with transforming my toilet. Deciding not to overthink it, I just glued bits and pieces [of my old sketches] all over the place. After it’s been glued on, I “connected” the drawings with more drawings on top. The hardest part was dealing with constantly bubbling paper and varnish that would smudge the ink (oh the horror!). But after drawings were sealed, it was easy to fix them and keep on layering that varnish.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova
Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

The white toilet becomes a canvas too.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

The door comes alive with a colony of mushrooms, the face of a wolf, and a dragonfly.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova
Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova
Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova
Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

Thanks to Khamitova’s dedication and careful handiwork, it all ends up looking quite seamless.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

Khamitova, who is originally from the mountains of Kazakhstan, creates lovely scarves, dresses, and shirts that are overlaid with her illustrations, which often depict colourful birds, plants and nature-inspired silouhettes. She says:

I observe nature and find inspiration in the smallest details. Maybe it’s a butterfly’s wing or the patterned cell structure of a leaf. Maybe it’s a feather or a raven perched on a tree limb. I take in what I see in the natural world and then create my pieces.

Roza Khamitova© Roza Khamitova

Bathrooms don’t have to be boring, and as Khamitova shows with this great reuse project, one can use whatever’s on hand to give them some character. To read more of Roza’s story, or to browse her fashion designs, visit Shovava.

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Clinton house fire from shorted bathroom fan, exposes work without permits

A fire that broke out at the Chappaqua, New York home of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton turned out to be a short in the bathroom fan of a building used by the Secret Service.

The incident, however, is exposing the Clintons’ history of ignoring local building ordinances and raises questions about whether the couple enjoys a special status in the community.  

New Castle Town Supervisor Robert Greenstein told that “apparently a bathroom fan shorted out” and sparked a fire at the Clintons’ compound on Old House Lane last Wednesday.

Officials with the Chappaqua Fire Department declined to comment about the ordeal, but the Secret Service confirmed the fire burned a hole in the bathroom ceiling of a building used by the agents that was not connected to the main residence.

The fire, which was on the second floor, was put out with fire extinguishers shortly after it was reported around 2:40 p.m., though the Clintons were reportedly not home during the blaze.

It’s unclear exactly which building burned, but reports the Clintons own both 15 Old House Lane, a five-bedroom home they bought for $1.7 million in 1999, as well as 33 Old House Lane, which they purchased in August 2016 for $1.16 million.

Two months after the Clintons purchased the neighboring property, the news site reported in 2016, a local building inspector busted contractors conducting extensive work on the site without the necessary permits.

Building inspector William Maskiell told he visited 33 Old House Lane on Oct. 5 after receiving a complaint about excavation and found workers filling in an old swimming pool and renovating the kitchen and electrical system without gaining approval from local government.

“During conversation I was told that the owners wanted to have all work done and finished by Thanksgiving and were quite adamant about it and what had started as a paint job turned into this,” Maskiell wrote in his Oct. 17 report.

Maskiell told the news site that contractors typically secure permits, but it’s ultimately the home owner’s responsibility to ensure they do.

“The homeowners have to sign the applications because it’s their property,” he said. “If you own the house, you’re responsible on everything that goes on with that house.”

Maskiell said the Clintons needed a demolition permit for the pool, a permit for the home renovations, and paperwork to ensure the back fill for the pool is not contaminated. He said the Clintons’ main home next door was also found to be lacking proper permits for electrical work in a library/gym, the home’s sprinkler system, as well as special variances for a guard house and extra-tall fence on site.

The guard house and extra-tall fence are special measures to ensure Clinton’s privacy and safety in addition to special vehicular laws crafted specifically for the former first family and their neighbors.

New Castle police officials designated Old House Lane and Green Street as “local-traffic-only” streets during the summer of 2016, when police also erected barriers near the home.

New Castle attorney Edward Phillips told LoHud at the time that the change spawned “from new security measures implemented at the end of Old House Lane near the Clintons’ home.”

“Those measures have created new limitations on vehicular movements on Old House Lane, and the local law was deemed necessary from a safety and security standpoint,” Phillips said. “The local law is also intended to address the privacy and quality of life concerns of other homeowners who reside on Old House Lane.”

It’s unclear whether the fan that caught fire last week was part of the original home, or whether it was installed without permits as much of the other renovations.

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Black Lives Matter Activist’s 8 Year-Old Son Locked in Bathroom by School Cop

Outside the School District Tuesday are, from left, Philadelphia Student Union Executive Director Julien Terrell, with parents Lauren and Isaac Gardner Sr., who say their son was unfairly treated by school police.

The Philadelphia School District was criticized Tuesday by the family of a student who claims he was unfairly locked in a bathroom by a school police officer.

The parents of Isaac Gardner Jr., 9, said a school police officer locked him in a bathroom after an incident in art class at Solis-Cohen Elementary School in Oxford Circle.

The student, who was 8 when the Oct. 20 incident occurred, alleged that a school police officer forcefully removed him from his art classroom and temporarily locked him in an adult bathroom while berating him.

The boy’s father, Isaac Gardner Sr., a Philly anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter activist, said the incident has been a “nightmare for our family.”

“Why is a grown man taking an 8-year-old boy in an adult bathroom?” Gardner asked at a news conference outside School District headquarters organized by the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU). “I want the officer charged and the art teacher disciplined.”

School Police Officer Joe O’Malley allegedly locked Gardner’s son in a bathroom after the principal was called due to a classroom issue.

As Gardner tells it, his son was told to sit in the back after arguing with another child. The other student said, “Stop saying, ‘Oh my god,’ or you’ll die,” to which his son began angrily replying, “No I won’t.”

At the end of class, Isaac refused to leave the classroom due to being upset, his father said. That’s when the teacher called the principal, after which the officer allegedly showed up, dragged the child out and locked him in the bathroom temporarily.

The School District said the incident is under investigation.

“The officer was immediately removed from the school when this was reported and will not be in a school until the investigation is complete,” School District spokesman Lee Whack said in an email. “Any time we get a report like this, we treat it very seriously because the safety of our students is always our top priority.”

In 2014, the District instructed school police to not respond to level 1 offenses like truancy, failure to follow classroom rules and verbal altercations. Gardner is skeptical of the school’s claim that this officer responded because he coincidentally overheard the call to the principal while walking by.

The report was investigated by the Department of Human Services and determined to be “unfounded.” But Metro viewed handwritten statements from Gardner’s son and daughter, 10, both describing Isaac being dragged out and locked up.

The Gardner family also said they were never directed by school staff to use the specific complaint form for school police, which the district rolled out this summer, and only learned about it from the Education Law Center.

“There is no reason for a school police officer to be involved in disciplinary issues in an elementary school,” PSU Executive Director Julien Terrell said in a statement. “The lack of oversight and clear guidance on the role of SPOs [school police officers] from the School District and its superintendent is to blame.”

The School District asked any parent, student or community member who believes they have been the victim of excessive force to file a complaint by calling 215-400-4830 or visiting


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Filming Cops

  • So a student issues a death threat to another student, the VICTIM objects and gets punished for that objection by the teacher, then by the principal, then by a police officer?

    What the hell?

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Transsexual Now On Trial For Raping 10 Year Old Girl In The Girls’ Bathroom

There’s a special place in fiery pits of hell for people who molest children. There’s also a special place for those who make provisions for such molesting (see Minnesota Schools to ‘Segregate’ Students Uncomfortable with Trans Bathrooms. and PRIORITIES: Berkeley to Charge Millions in Student Fees for… Transgender Bathrooms).

Remember when we told you passing bathroom bills to allow trannies in the stalls next to your daughters, nieces, and grandchildren would lead to terrible things? Uh huh. Well, this tranny raped a 10-year-old girl in a bathroom. A girls’ bathroom.

The trial for Miguel Martinez, who goes by the name Michelle, began on Monday, the Billings Gazette reported. Martinez allegedly invited the young girl into the bathroom with him where he allegedly fondled the girl’s breasts and genitalia, before penetrating her. The girl told police that “it hurt inside” and she started to cry, the Casper Star Tribune reported.

Nurses at a nearby medical center “completed a sexual assault exam and found redness and abrasions on the girl’s genitalia,” according to the Gazette’s report.

Martinez told police that the girl had been “talking crap” and dismissed the accusations as a “publicity stunt,” according to local reports.

Okay, firstly to the people who’ll say “But, but, he took her into the bathroom! He wasn’t already in there! See, see, trannies in bathroom laws haven’t changed a darn thing!”

Stop it. He’s a man who dresses like a woman. Which, right now, means he’s in a protected class of people. He’s also a predator who uses his protected class to get close to children. And he’s using his ability, as a member of a protected class, to enter a place the left says he should have every right to enter. In this case, a girls’ bathroom. The absense of laws here isn’t comforting.

Would this have happened regardless of the recent passing of bathroom laws? Hard to say. People break laws all the time, despite the existence of those laws. But when we raised concerns over men in stalls next to girls, the left poo-pooed us, calling us hateful bigots.

Yet here we are.

So maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t make it any easier for sexual predators to be sexual predators. By erasing laws for the sake of social justice causes. Good idea?



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Absurd! Gov’t Spends $2M on Tiny Park Bathroom that Took 7 Years to Make, and That’s Normal 


In a bizarre case of government failure, taxpayers in New York City footed the bill for a brand new bathroom in their public park that cost a whopping $2 MILLION — and it took over 7 YEARS to construct — seriously.

While both the price and the construction time might make you think that this bathroom was an elaborate building with ornate features and state-of-the-art technology, it is actually nothing more than a 400-square-foot public restroom.

“I was expecting gold-plated fixtures! It’s just a toilet, a couple of urinals, a couple of sinks—2 million dollars?!” Journalist John Stossel remarked when visiting the bathroom in a segment for ReasonTV.

Even more incredulous was the response from New York City’s Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver, who told Stossel that the price for the bathroom in question was cheap compared to current estimates, which now stand at around $3 million.

“New York City is the most expensive place to build. 2 million was a good deal,” Silver said, insisting that while $2 million could also buy a nice house in the area, the city stands by its price. “We built these comfort stations to last… Look at the material we use compared to that of a home. These are very, very durable materials.”

David Greenfield, a Democratic councilman from Brooklyn, told CBS2 that he blames Mayor Bill de Blasio for the outrageous cost.

“The buck stops with the administration and at the end of the day, if the administration really made this their priority, they could figure out a way to cut the red tape,” Greenfield said, noting that because a complete house can be built in the area for $1 million, the city is “essentially wasting taxpayer money.”

However, Stossel noted that a nearby public restroom in Bryant Park cost only $300,00 to build, and it gets much more use.” He found that the major difference between the two came from the fact that “Bryant Park is privately managed.”

Public restrooms aren’t the only elements of parks that have been known to lead to outrageous government estimates. Last month, Adi Astl, a retired mechanic and resident of Toronto, spent $550 building a set of stairs for his community park.

However, the city’s estimate for the project ranged from $65,000 to $150,000. Astl told CTV News that after watching multiple people fall down the steep path to the park’s community garden, and waiting for the city to act, he decided to take matters into his own hands.   

“To me, the safety of people is more important than money,” Astl said. “So if the city is not willing to do it, I have to do it myself.”

The city of Toronto responded to Astl’s thoughtful act by tearing down the staircase, and insisting that its replacement will now cost at least $10,000 to build.

Stossel pointed out one fact many Americans have come to learn the hard way: Everything costs more when government builds it.”

“Obamacare’s website was supposed to cost $464 million. It cost $834 million and still crashed. 

Washington, D.C.’s Visitor Center rose in cost from $265 million to $621 million. 

The Veterans Affairs medical center being built near Denver was projected to cost $590 million. Now they estimate $1.7 billion.”

One thing is certain—when government is involved, projects will never be handled in the most efficient way possible, the needs of the citizens will not be the first priority, and the private sector will always be a better option.

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Young Oklahoma woman’s body found in Walmart bathroom three days after she entered store


Police in one Oklahoma community are investigating after a woman’s body was discovered in the bathroom of a grocery store.

Surveillance video showed the woman walking into the store about 6 p.m. Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.

Investigators tell KJRH that an employee at the Sand Springs Walmart tried to get into the family bathroom on Friday, but it was locked. At that point, the employee placed an out-of-order sign on the door. Several days later, employees checked again and discovered the woman’s body.

KOKI-TV identified the woman as 29-year-old Katherine Caraway, of Muskogee.

Investigators say her death does not appear to be suspicious, adding that she may have died from a health condition.

Walmart issued the following statement after the incident:

We are saddened by this. We don’t know all the facts right now, but we are working closely with local law enforcement to provide what information we have that might be useful. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we must refer you to them for additional information.

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