President Donald Trump will rescind guidance enacted by President Barack Obama in favor of transgender students, the White House has announced.
The Obama-era rule directed public schools to allow transgender pupils to use toilets of their gender identity.
However, critics said that guidance was government overreach which threatened other students’ privacy and safety.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Trump firmly believes “this is a states’ rights issue”.
Sean Spicer told a news conference: “I would expect further guidance to come out on that today.”
Though the Obama-era order will be rescinded, anti-bullying safeguards are expected to remain in place, the AP reported, citing a government official.
In May 2016, President Obama’s justice and education departments instructed public schools to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom corresponded to their gender identity.
Though not legally binding, President Obama’s order warned schools they could lose funding if they did not follow the new guidance.
The directive sparked a backlash across the country, prompting legal challenges from 13 states and a Texas federal judge’s preliminary injunction blocking the department’s position in August.
The Obama administration’s guidance was based on its interpretation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination in education.
Barack Obama argued that protection extended to gender identity.
However, Sean Spicer said the previous administration’s guidelines were confusing and too difficult to implement.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump said transgender students should be allowed to use whichever bathroom “they feel is appropriate”.
However, he reversed his stance after facing Republican criticism.
Conservative activists praised Donald Trump’s impending order, saying it protected student rights to privacy.
“Our daughters should never be forced to share private, intimate spaces with male classmates, even if those young men are struggling with these issues,” said Vicki Wilson, a member of Students and Parents for Privacy.
“It violates their right to privacy and harms their dignity.”
Meanwhile, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called the move a major setback for trans rights.