Last evening, the Trump administration officially rescinded protections for transgender students put in place by Barack Obama.
In May 2016, President Obama and the departments of Education and Justice issued guidance to public schools that Title XI’s prohibitions on sex discrimination meant trans students must be allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity. While more than a dozen states sued over the directive, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor issued an injunction blocking its enforcement.
“As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level,” the White House said in a statement.
“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.”
No alternative plan for supporting the rights and needs of transgender students has been put forward by the White House.
“This is a serious attack by the Trump Administration on transgender students; opening them up to harassment, discrimination, and violence in their schools,” One Colorado stated in a statement. “No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at their school or college campus. We should not further marginalize transgender people, who are precisely those most at risk of discrimination.
“Luckily, Colorado has been on the right side of this issue for years, by including sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination law, passed in 2008. Numerous Colorado education associations — including the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and the Colorado High School Activities and Athletics Association — know that transgender students should be protected and have the right to facilities, activities, and athletics that correspond with their gender identity.
“If schools wish to discriminate against transgender Americans, they should do it on their own dime. Title IX states that no education program or activity receiving federal funding can be allowed to discriminate. By rescinding this guidance, public funds can now be used to discriminate against transgender students.
“Transgender students only want to live their lives and go to school like every other student does, and that includes being able to use the bathroom without harassment. We are disappointed in President Trump, and his administration, for sanctioning potential harassment and violence against students, including transgender students.