The Trump administration has made it crystal clear that it won’t protect transgender students from discrimination after it officially rolled back an Obama-era regulation extending certain protections to transgender students in federally funded public schools.
On Wednesday, Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued new guidance rolling back the policies, citing a need to further consider the legal issues.
The guidelines required public schools to allow children to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identities.
“[We] had decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved,” the DOJ and DOE said in a memo Wednesday. “The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.”
“Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, harassment or bullying,” the departments added. “All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
“What could possibly motivate a blind and cruel attack on young children like this?” asked Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “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.”
“The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance.”
“Congress, state legislatures and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue,” Sessions added.
“The Department of Justice remains committed to the proper interpretation and enforcement of Title IX and its protections for all students, including LGBTQ students, from discrimination, bullying and harassment.”
Update: Hundreds of protesters have gathrered outside of the White House to protest the Trump administration’s decision:
— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 22, 2017
Sen. Tammy Baldwin tweeted: “Being a President for “all Americans” should include transgender students who deserve schools free of discrimination.”
Being a President for "all Americans" should include transgender students who deserve schools free of discrimination.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) February 23, 2017
The Transgender Law Center tweeted: “No matter what this administration says, the law remains on transgender students’ side. TLC and many others are fighting for them daily.”
No matter what this administration says, the law remains on transgender students’ side. TLC and many others are fighting for them daily.
— TransgenderLawCenter (@TransLawCenter) February 22, 2017