The Donald Trump administration on Wednesday rescinded federal guidelines put in place by former President Barrack Obama that allowed transgender students in the United States to access the bathrooms that matched their gender identity. The Republican party has been opposing such a right by claiming it threatens other students’ privacy and safety, though experts say transgender students are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence in school bathrooms.

The White House said it had sent out letters to schools saying the guidelines had “caused confusion” and lawsuits from multiple states, and that it wanted to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved”. Trump had, during his campaign, said transgender students should use any bathroom “they feel is appropriate”, but later gone back on his words after Republicans criticised him.

The Obama administration had sent out the decree in May 2016. It included several guidelines on what schools can do to protect transgender students from bullying and violence. The decree, while not a law, had made clear that schools could face funding cuts if they did not fulfil their legal obligations to protect the students. However, a judge in Texas had blocked the guidelines in August.