Education Dept. Says It Will Evaluate Obama’s Transgender Directive
SAN JUAN – Education Secretary Rafael Román said Monday he will be evaluating the impact of President Obama’s order requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms that match their gender identity.
The letter on transgender rights came in the middle of a legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The measure does not have the force of law but schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.
Román said the agency has been making advancements on the matter, but that it received the order Friday.
“We will be evaluating the impact of the Obama administration’s order and the actions the education department should take,” he said.
The agency recently agreed to a request to set up a bathroom for a transgender student at a school in Moca. It also allowed transgender students to use uniforms that match their gender identity.
Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said the order would require infrastructure work but that he is in agreement with it.
He said that when his administration issued the order on transgender students, he was criticized by the opposition New Progressive Party. “Are they going to protest against Obama. Will they stop being pro-statehood…. Why don’t they march along Pennsylvania Avenue?” he asked.