US President Donald Trump has scrapped protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.
In a letter released on Tuesday night, the Justice and Education departments informed the nation’s schools and the Supreme Court that it was revoking Obama-era guidance on transgender student rights.
Former President Barack Obama had issued a directive in May 2016 requiring schools across America to allow transgender students unrestricted access to bathroom facilities that align with their chosen gender.
But despite expressing some sympathy for the transgender community during his campaign, Mr Trump has reversed the Obama administration’s policy and empowered states to decide for themselves.
Some schools insist on identifying students based on the sex recorded on their birth certificates and not what sex they choose to ascribe to themselves.
LGBT rights groups on Wednesday assailed the administration.
“This is a mean-spirited attack on hundreds of thousands of students who simply want to be their true selves and be treated with dignity while attending school,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “These young people already face incredible hurdles in their pursuit of education and acceptance. With a pen stroke, the Trump Administration effectively sanctions the bullying, ostracizing, and isolation of these children, putting their very lives in danger.”