Transgender students and bathrooms

On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017, the Trump administration withdrew protection rights, for transgender students, that were put into place during the recent Obama-era. The protection allowed transgender students to use the bathrooms according to what gender they identified with.


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Many believe that the federal government should not have become involved with the issue, but that it should have always been up to the states to decide their bathroom laws.

The Trump administration sent out a two page letter to public schools explaining that the Obama-era guidance did not provide “extensive legal analysis” and therefore, it should be decided on a state-level.

The White House stated, “The joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators.” However, according to CNN, a source reported to them that Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, was against the Trump administration’s draft for withdrawing the guidance.

It’s been reported that DeVos was publically on board, but did privately express her hesitance and disagreements with the guidance. According to CNN, DeVos was summoned to the White House to meet with the President where “she was told to agree to the plans.”

A statement, issued by the White House, regarding the new guidance, states that the guidance “does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment.”

In agreement with the White House’s statement, addressing student protections, Civil Rights groups have pointed out that this new guidance does not undo state-level protections or Title IX for transgender students. Title IX is an education amendment that was made in 1972. The amendment states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Even with the protection of Title IX and state level laws, CEO of Lambda Legal, Rachel B. Tiven, said in a statement, “The law bars discrimination – the new administration invites it.”


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