Politicians in Texas, Arkansas and elsewhere vowed defiance – and other conservative states could follow suit – after the Obama administration told public schools across the U.S. on Friday to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
In New Mexico, where two of the state’s largest school districts have already grappled with the issue, a spokesman for the state Public Education Department said the agency is still reviewing the federal guidance to gauge how it will impact students.
But PED spokesman Robert McEntyre also expressed concern about the directive, saying, “Ultimately, we do feel that this is a big overreach by the federal government and that an issue like this would be best handled at the school district level.”
Meanwhile, University of New Mexico officials said Friday that they believe the university is already in compliance with the federal directive. UNM has tried to include universal bathroom facilities in new campus construction projects and renovations of older buildings, a spokeswoman said.