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Tyler Richard, (402) 476-8091 x104,

July 8, 2016

Nebraska’s Attorney General Using Taxpayer Dollars to Further a Political Agenda

Lincoln, Neb – On Friday, May 13 the Departments of Education and Justice announced comprehensive guidance that requires schools to treat transgender students in accordance with their gender identity. Today the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office announced it was suing the federal government related to this guidance.

Danielle Conrad, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nebraska, has this reaction:

“It is time for our state leaders to stop playing politics with the lives and wellbeing of young transgender Nebraskans and fully live up to our state's motto of 'Equality Before the Law'.  As a state, we all do better when every student has the opportunity to succeed, and that includes ensuring our transgender students are treated with dignity and respect according to their gender identity. Title IX has long prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, including in single-sex spaces and activities. The recent federal guidance being challenged by the Attorney General does not create any new obligations for Nebraska schools and in fact is consistent with past practice of providing important clarity to schools that receive federal funding about best practices to protect all students from gender discrimination.  The ACLU of Nebraska has successfully resolved these very issues without fanfare or costly litigation with various Nebraska school districts on behalf of transgender students and their families.

“While there is increased attention on transgender students and legal protections for them, the reality is transgender students have been attending our schools and going to the gender-appropriate facilities for decades without incident. We commend the educational professionals on the front lines of these issues in Nebraska that are doing the right thing to ensure transgender students are being treated with dignity and respect. The Nebraska State Board of Education recently rejected an attempt to circumvent the guidance; the National Education Association recently adopted a resolution as America's teachers to support transgender students. It would be far more productive, and a better use of taxpayer funds, for the Attorney General to open a dialogue with transgender students in Nebraska and their families about how we can work together to support equal opportunity for all Nebraska kids.”

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