UNC system says it won’t enforce transgender bathroom rules

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Bathroom sign (Stock photo)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina system said in legal filings that it won’t try to enforce a law requiring transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex, according to the Associated Press.

System leader Margaret Spellings filed the motion Friday, writing, “I have no intent to exercise my authority to promulgate any guidelines or regulations that require transgender students to use the restrooms consistent with their biological sex.”

The Obama administration issued guidance earlier this month directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

A joint letter from the Departments of Education and Justice went to schools with guidelines to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment,” the Obama administration said.

The announcement comes amid heated debate over transgender rights in schools and public life, which includes a legal standoff between the administration and North Carolina over its controversial House Bill 2.

The guidance goes beyond the bathroom issue, touching upon privacy rights, education records and sex-segregated athletics, all but guaranteeing transgender students the right to identify in school as they choose.