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President Barack Obama plans to issue a directive to public schools telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their identity, CNN reports.

School districts will receive a letter on Friday from the Departments of Education and Justice that provides guidance on the directive. The Obama administration said the goal is to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.”

According to CNN, the directive does not have the force of law, but wields the power of cutting off federal funding to school districts that fail to comply.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued this statement:

“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex. This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.”

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. made the following comment:

“We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”

This comes on the heels of a legal showdown between the Obama administration and North Carolina. On Monday, the DOJ and North Carolina filed competing lawsuits over the state’s law that requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.



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