Breaking News: Trump Administration Rescinds Federal Protections for Transgender Students

Feb 22, 2017

Today, the Department of Justice and Department of Education announced that they are rescinding the federal guidance given to schools by the Obama Administration regarding support for Transgender student’s use of restrooms and other single sex spaces.

We are disappointed that the Trump Administration has chosen to rescind this important support for transgender students as one of the first actions they have taken. With all that concerns us as a country, it is disheartening to see that withdrawal of support for transgender students rose to the top of the agenda.

While rescinding the guidance is harmful in many respects to transgender students, it does not change years of established case law providing protection under Title IX, nor does it undermine the state-level protections many students have in place.

Lack of federal guidance and support does not prohibit educators from creating and implementing supportive policies and practices. Educators created supportive learning environments for transgender students for many years prior to the Obama Administration guidance. They are doing so now and will continue doing so in the future. The moral and ethical obligation that calls educators to creatively solve the challenges of educating all students is not changed through the administration’s decision today.

Lisa Kenney, Executive Director of Gender Spectrum stated, “Actions like the one taken today come from a lack of understanding – of gender, of the needs and experience of transgender students in schools, and of the more than a decade of success educators have had in addressing these issues in schools all over our country.”

You are not alone. We are steadfast in our commitment to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth. In the coming days and weeks you’ll receive additional information about how parents and students can work with their schools to create an inclusive environment, legal rights that youth have in schools, employment and other critical environments to support them in their gender, resources for professionals creating inclusive policies and practices, as well as many other resources and educational opportunities regarding this issue. Until then, if you have questions please contact us.

If you want to take action regarding the administration’s decision, make a commitment today to do what you can to increase understandings of gender in your world. Your story may be just what someone needs to hear. Your story can make a difference.

If a transgender or Non-binary identified student experiences discrimination at school, there is legal assistance to help. Please contact any of these legal organizations for assistance:
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – nclrights.org
Transgender Law Center – transgenderlawcenter.org
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) – glad.org
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – aclu.org
Lambda Legal – lambdalegal.org