The Obama administration issued a stark warning to public schools and public universities on Friday, threatening to cut federal aid from being distributed to institutions that DON'T permit transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

"It was rather ambiguous previously, but president Obama kind of laid it on the line in terms of," said Boardman superintendent Frank Lazzeri.

The letter sent to each public school district across the country, directs districts to allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room consistent with their gender identity. 
Officials say the letter is an attempt to clarify civil rights protection under title IX, which protects people from being discriminated against on the basis of sex.

"What the Department of Justice said is gender identity, whatever gender identity you choose is your sex and you are in fact, the department is going to enforce Title IX to ensure that you are not discriminated against based on gender identity," said attorney Matt Mangino.

While Mangino anticipates states will contest this issue, Boardman superintendent Frank Lazzeri says his district will comply.

"We don't want to have a discriminatory situation for any of our students whether it is based upon race, religion or gender identity.  We are going to work with all of our students so that we embrace and make sure they have a positive learning environment," said Lazzeri.

The directive also orders school staff should address transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns. Schools also cannot require students to have a medical diagnosis, undergo any medical treatment, or produce a birth certificate before treating them consistent with their gender identity.