NEWS RELEASE: Cmmr Cassellius Issues Statement Regarding Federal Guidance Ensuring the Civil Rights of Transgender Students

Minnesota Department of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 13, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Josh Collins,, 651-582-8205

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius Issues Statement Regarding Federal Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students

ROSEVILLE, MN -- The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance today to help provide educators the information they need to ensure that all students—including transgender students—can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex.

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status. The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.

In response to the federal guidance, Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius released the following statement of support:

"All of our students deserve safe and supportive places where they can learn, thrive and succeed.

"Minnesota has come a long way the past several years to create schools that are welcoming and inclusive. In 2013 we replaced one of the weakest anti-bullying laws in the nation with the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, and the School Safety Technical Assistance Center at the Minnesota Department of Education continues to provide support and assistance to schools as they strive to make student safety a top priority.

"I applaud the guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that clarifies what we've believed all along—that gender identity is protected under Title IX, and that all students have a right to attend a school that is safe and discrimination-free."

For information about how the Minnesota Department of Education's School Safety Technical Assistance Center supports schools in creating safe and supportive environments for all students, visit the center's website at 

Photo of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.