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Trump Administration Removes Support for Transgender Students
Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice jointly issued an updated "Dear Colleague" letter rescinding Federal support for the protections afforded transgender students by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
This action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes it clear that the Trump Administration is committed to dismantling existing civil rights protections afforded to transgender children, adolescents, teens and their families.
Today's action states:
"These [prior] guidance documents take the position that the prohibitions on discrimination 'on the basis sex' in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, require access to sex-segregated facilities based on gender identity. These documents do not, however, contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process."
It goes on to reference the "significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms" that has resulted in the aftermath of the originally issued guidance, the vast majority of which has upheld the protections that Title IX affords transgender students.
According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the issue of transgender student rights should be left up to individual states and school districts to determine. This so-called "states rights" argument has previously been used to try to undermine racial integration, marriage equality and implementation of Roe v. Wade.
The underlying intention of the Trump Administration's anti-transgender crusade is to make it impossible for transgender people, including children, to be visible in public places and general society. If our children cannot use a restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, then they cannot possibly succeed in school.
While today's action makes it clear that the Federal government under the Trump Administration is no longer an ally to transgender children and their families, it DOES NOT remove existing judicially established protections under Title IX. Several lower courts have ruled in favor of transgender student rights, and those rulings have been upheld in the Appellate Courts. Additionally, this decision to rescind support at the Federal level DOES NOT impact the ability of state Departments of Education to enforce Title IX protection of transgender students.
TransActive Gender Center believes every state Department of Education has the responsibility to step forward and reiterate their intent to protect the rights of transgender students under Title IX and other civil rights protections that may exist within their individual states.
TransActive Gender Center