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Restrooms, locker rooms, and showers in public schools nationwide are allowed to remain separated by biological sex for the foreseeable future, a federal judge in Texas has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor blocked President Barack Obama’s administration’s bathroom mandate on Sunday evening, hours before students in the state woke up for their first day of school.
The judge did not address the underlying policy in question, but argued the Obama administration overstepped its authority when mandating that public schools must open their restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to transgender students based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex.
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor said. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.”
The ruling is part of a challenge brought by Texas and 12 other states against the Obama administration’s bathroom directive, issued on May 13 to public schools nationwide.
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