The Trump Administration’s upcoming roll back of the protective guidance for transgender students puts kids at risk. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the decision earlier today that under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the US Departments of Justice and Education will revoke the Obama Administration’s guidance detailing schools’ obligations to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. While students are still entitled to the legal protections guaranteed by Title IX, today’s action obfuscates schools’ obligations to transgender youth — who face disproportionately high rates of bullying, harassment and discrimination — and sends a dangerous message that the current administration will not enforce inclusive policies or stand up for them at school.
“What could possibly motivate a blind and cruel attack on young children like this?” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “These transgender students simply want to go to school in the morning without fear of discrimination or harassment. The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking. This isn’t a ‘states rights’ issue, it’s a civil rights issue. Children deserve protection from bullying no matter what state they live in. Period. The policies included in the rescinded guidance have existed in cities, states, and school districts — from Minneapolis to Fort Worth — for years, seamlessly and successfully affirming and welcoming transgender students in thousands of classrooms throughout the country. Every transgender student should know that, no matter what Donald Trump does or says, there are millions of people who will fight to stand up for them. We are proud to be among them.”
NCLR also responded to the decision:
“There is no legal basis for this shift in federal policy, which is driven by the anti-LGBT agenda of Vice President Pence and Attorney General Sessions. Since our founding, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has stood for the principle that every child deserves love, respect, and recognition for who they are. We have advanced this vision for 40 years, and we do not intend to let this administration’s irresponsible and cowardly actions get in the way of fighting for our youth. The laws of many states and the District of Columbia already reflect our shared commitment to making schools safer for LGBTQ youth, and numerous federal courts have agreed that Title IX protects these students as well. We will not let Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence, two of the most openly anti-LGBT public officials in our nation’s history, erase the gains we have made.”
Secretary of Education and all-around awful person Betsy DeVos does her best to defend the actions of the administration, saying that it was done to protect ALL students (you know, just not transgender ones).
Also in the news today was Trump’s Inauguration Day singer who happens to have a transgender singer. Jackie Evancho was one of the few people to agree to perform, despite her strong connection to the LGBT community.
“I am obviously disappointed in the @POTUS decision to send the #transgender bathroom issue to the states to decide. #sisterlove,” she wrote from her account, @jackieevancho.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 23, 2017