Del. Reaction to Bathroom Directive from Obama Administration - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Reaction to Bathroom Directive from Obama Administration

Posted: Updated:
A sign that leads to an "inclusive" bathroom, means to be used by all genders. (Photo: CBS News) A sign that leads to an "inclusive" bathroom, means to be used by all genders. (Photo: CBS News)

DOVER, Del.- People in Delaware felt strongly Friday about the Obama administration's directive to all public school districts in the country.

A joint letter from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education was sent to every school district in the United States. Some are calling it a directive, but the letter itself is identified as "significant guidance."

The bottom line is that it tells school districts they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom with which they personally identify.

"A school's Title IX obligation to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which others....raise objections of concerns," it says.

According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, "transgender" is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes people who have not had any type of sex change operation.

Gov. Jack Markell co-authored a piece on CNN.com Thursday about this very issue. He called it a civil rights issue. WBOC spoke with him Friday.

"This is a civil rights issue," he said. "We want to make sure we are welcoming to all people. And when we say all people we ought to mean all people. I think that's exactly what this is about."

Debbie O'Brien lives in Dover, and she sees this as coming on too fast.

"I think [President Obama] needs to stay out of the state government and let the states decide," she told WBOC. "I think this is a new issue, that it's something that shouldn't be thrust. It should be gradually introduced."

The letter from the government is not a law. It is guidance, as they have called it. Technically, school districts do not need to comply with it, but if they do not they risk losing much needed federal funding or even a lawsuit.

WBOC reached out to several school districts Friday. No district, except Lake Forest, returned phone calls. Lake Forest School District says they follow the rules and will be complying with the directive.

In Rehoboth, an LGBT advocacy group was speaking out. CAMP Rehoboth stands for Creating a More Positive Rehoboth. Steve Elkins, the executive director there, says this is already codified in the law.

"Under Title IX," he said, "It already says that gender identity is a protected class and that all accommodations have to be made to make the student feel comfortable. And even in Delaware we have gender identity laws which say the same thing."

The Delaware Department of Education told WBOC Friday it stands behind the governor.

  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    Historic Seaford Diner Torn Down

    One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    The Seaford Eagle Diner was ripped down Tuesday morning so the owners can re-build a new restaurant on site. Owner Serkan Darilmaz says the diner was in such bad shape that renovating it would've come at an astronomical cost.

    More

    One of the last remaining 1950's diner cars on Delmarva is now nothing but rubble.

    The Seaford Eagle Diner was ripped down Tuesday morning so the owners can re-build a new restaurant on site. Owner Serkan Darilmaz says the diner was in such bad shape that renovating it would've come at an astronomical cost.

    More
  • Price Comparison: Where to Buy Crabs Over Memorial Day Weekend

    Price Comparison: Where to Buy Crabs Over Memorial Day Weekend

    For many people on Delmarva, a favorite way to spend the Memorial Day holiday weekend is by enjoying blue crabs. If you're planning on buying crabs for carryout - either live or steamed - prices vary widely depending on location. Check out the price list for an idea about how much it will cost you to buy crabs from some local places in the area. Unless otherwise noted, prices listed are for #1 (large) males.

    More

    For many people on Delmarva, a favorite way to spend the Memorial Day holiday weekend is by enjoying blue crabs. If you're planning on buying crabs for carryout - either live or steamed - prices vary widely depending on location. Check out the price list for an idea about how much it will cost you to buy crabs from some local places in the area. Unless otherwise noted, prices listed are for #1 (large) males.

    More
  • Milford Marine Center Needs Your Help Finding Thief

    Milford Marine Center Needs Your Help Finding Thief

    The Taylor Marine Center in Milford is looking to a catch a criminal before its too late.

    President Dirk Van Rees says security footage shows a man walking onto three boats stored on the property for the winter. Footage shows him taking off batteries, nets, fishing rods and hundreds of dollars of personal items like electronics.

    More

    The Taylor Marine Center in Milford is looking to a catch a criminal before its too late.

    President Dirk Van Rees says security footage shows a man walking onto three boats stored on the property for the winter. Footage shows him taking off batteries, nets, fishing rods and hundreds of dollars of personal items like electronics.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices