A joint letter from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education to school districts across the country states clearly that federal law requires schools to treat transgender students without bias and allow them to use the locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

The federal guidance about the rights of transgender students is a welcome development for one Wilmington area family in particular. Trinity Neal, 12, started identifying as a girl at the age of 4, said her mother, DeShanna Neal, who has home-schooled Trinity for virtually her entire education.

"We pulled her out of kindergarten for this very reason," Neal said.

With more frequency in the last few years, schools have been developing policies addressing transgender student issues, said Olabisi Okubadejo, a lawyer who practices civil rights and higher education law out of Ballard Spahr's Maryland office.

She deals mostly with colleges and universities, but some secondary schools, too. They are looking for guidance either on policy development or dealing with a specific situation.

"Schools in Delaware are facing the same types of issues that other schools are," Okubadejo said.

Related Practice