The commission warned that budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could lead to a "dangerous reduction" in civil rights law enforcement.
Others, who believe that students must use bathrooms according to their biological sex rather than their gender identity, have welcomed the Trump administration's change of course on complaints involving transgender students.
The Education Department memo distributed to staff last week, dated June 6 and signed by Jackson, does not mention the 7th Circuit ruling but outlines court decisions to dismiss or vacate cases in light of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw the Obama-era transgender guidance. "The presumption here should be it's business as usual, and not that OCR is abdicating its role as a protector of civil rights for transgender students".
The investigation will also look into the departments of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and the Legal Services Corporation - which are all expected to slash budget and personnel that monitor civil rights.
"It is permissible, for example, for one allegation in a complaint (such as harassment based on gender stereotypes) to go forward while another allegation (such as denial of access to restrooms based on gender identity) is dismissed", the guidance says.
"The unclear instructions issued by the Department of Education sow a new level of confusion and doubt for students, families and schools", Gupta said.
Further, the administration's proposed budget would cut 46 staff positions at the department's civil rights office, which investigates sex, race disability and age based complaints, the statement said. "The civil and human rights community continues to stand united, supporting the right of every student to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be protected by the law regardless of gender identity".
Fighter jets deal shows deep U.S. support
The Turkish chief diplomat held talks with Qatar's emir and foreign minister on Wednesday and plans to visit Saudi Arabia. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a Gulf tour trying to help broker an end to the crisis, defended the deal.
"It seems that what they are saying is that they will enforce the law for some students and not others", Keisling said.
The memo regarding transgender students lists specific instances where officers could have "subject matter jurisdiction", such as failure to use a student's preferred pronoun or a school or district's failure to fix an environment that is hostile toward transgender students. Education officials said they wanted to emphasize that transgender students may still have valid discrimination complaints despite the rescission of that guidance. The "proposed cuts would result in a unsafe reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination", said the statement.
The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights this week closed a long-running discrimination case involving a transgender student and withdrew its earlier findings that the girl had suffered discrimination at school, a move that comes amid the Trump administration's push to scale back civil rights investigations in public schools.
James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT & HIV Project, said in a statement the new guidance under Trump is insufficient compared to the guidance issued during the Obama administration. "Justice delayed is justice denied, and justice for many complainants has been denied for too long", she said.
A White House spokesperson made a general assertion President Trump supports LGBT rights when asked if he supports the new Department of Education memo.
Both sides of the civil rights issue keyed on the department's decision to reverse its practice of automatically broadening investigations and scrutinizing years of data, searching for patterns of violations.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has condemned the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it was rescinding the memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement.