LGBTQ students sometimes pose unique challenges for school counselors. In Colorado, a family went to court when a school refused to allow a transgender six-year-old to use the girl’s restroom. A lawyer for the school argued that “there were no Colorado cases requiring public schools to permit transgender students to use restrooms of the gender with which they identify.” In June, the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled in the student’s favor, stating that “the Fountain-Fort Carson School District created an unnecessarily hostile situation … when it made the female bathroom off limits.”

In Massachusetts, the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidelines requiring that all students be allowed to use the restrooms and play on sports teams with the sex with which they identify. Massachusetts isn’t the only state that has made decisions in this area, but as with most educational laws, there’s wide variation from state to state. However, schools should be on notice that “just shutting out transgender students is not an option.”