The Obama Administration has issued the guidance as debate takes place around the country over which bathrooms transgender students should be allowed to use.
The joint letter comes from the U.S Department of Education and the Justice Department.
The directive is not law, though federal officials believe bathroom rights falls under Title-9, the federal anti-sex discrimination law in education.
But the message behind the letter is clear. The government wants schools to either follow its guidance, or face loss of federal funding.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “The guidance does not add additional requirements to the applicable law. The guidance does not require any students to use shared facilities when schools make alternate arrangements. But what the framework does provide is advice for how school administrators can protect the dignity and safety of every student under their charge. And that advice includes practical, tangible, real world suggestions to school administrators who have to deal with this issue.”
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over its new state law requiring students to use the bathroom of their gender at birth. North Carolina filed its own lawsuit against the D.O.J. in response.