Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions reportedly battled over bathroom protections for transgender students

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The Trump administration rolled back protections for transgender students this week.

But behind the scenes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions privately sparred over the order, The New York Times reported.

The order would reverse guidance from the Obama Administration directing schools to allow transgender students the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

DeVos told Trump she was uncomfortable signing the order, three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions told the Times.

Sessions pushed DeVos to reverse her stance and agree to the order. He is reliant on her support as the order must come from the Department of Education and Justice Department.

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Protests for and against gender-neutral bathrooms
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Protests for and against gender-neutral bathrooms

A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access is seen in the bathroom stalls at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina May 3, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)

A man holds up a sign supporting North Carolina's anti-transgender bathroom law following Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump' campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Opponents of North Carolina's HB2 law limiting bathroom access for transgender people protest in the gallery above the state's House of Representatives chamber as the legislature considers repealing the controversial law in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. on December 21, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)

Civil rights leader Reverend William Barber, president of the NAACP in North Carolina, speaks to the media inside the state's Legislative Building as lawmakers gather to consider repealing the controversial HB2 law limiting bathroom access for transgender people in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. on December 21, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Drake)

A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California September 30, 2014. The University of California will designate gender-neutral restrooms at its 10 campuses to accommodate transgender students, in a move that may be the first of its kind for a system of colleges in the United States.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Transgender people and their supporters have been fighting for repeal of House Bill 2, a North Carolina law that requires people in government buildings to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

(John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)

Protestors gather across the street from the North Carolina state legislative building as they voice their concerns over House Bill 2, in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 16, 2016. House Bill 2, also known as the Bathroom Bill, which requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate, has received the attention of national media and the White House.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Protestors gather across the street from the North Carolina state legislative building as they voice their concerns over House Bill 2, in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 16, 2016. House Bill 2, also known as the Bathroom Bill, which requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their birth certificate, has received the attention of national media and the White House.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Supporter of HB2 Lee Churchill from Raleigh, N.C. holds a sign stating her position outside the North Carolina House and Senate chambers gallery on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 as the North Carolina General Assembly convenes for a special session at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C.

(Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)

Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, near the White House in Washington, U.S. February 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, near the White House in Washington, U.S. February 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, near the White House in Washington, U.S. February 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

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During the highly contentious Senate confirmation process for DeVos, there were questions over whether she would protect LGBT students in her role. Critics cited her family's donations to organizations which oppose gay rights. Still, colleagues of DeVos have portrayed her as someone supportive of LGBT rights.

Sessions' ideas surrounding LGBT rights are less nuanced. He has voted against such expanding rights throughout his career in the Senate.

A draft of the order obtained by the Times cited confusion over the guidance set forth by the Obama Administration. School administrators, parents, and students have "struggled to understand and apply the statements of policy and guidance," the draft read, according to the Times.

The forthcoming order will have rippling impact across the nation for school systems attempting to update bathroom policies.

The most high-profile case relates to high-school student Gavin Grimm. Grimm is a transgender student who sued his high school in federal court for refusing to allow him to use the boys' bathroom, which corresponds to his gender identity.

In 2016, The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Grimm's favor, pointing to the Obama Administration guidance. The Gloucester County School Board appealed the decision and the case is now set to be heard by the Supreme Court in March.

AOL contributed to this report

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