The Obama administration will send a letter to every public school district in the country telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate.
The letter, which is signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education, will be sent out to the districts on Friday.
While the letter does not have the force of law, it does warn that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid.
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
Officials say the letter is meant to clarify expectations of school districts that receive funding from the federal government. Educators have been seeking guidance on how to comply with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, Education Secretary John B. King said in a statement.