The Trump Administration withdrew historic and lifesaving guidance from the Justice and Education Departments today, which provided schools with practical advice on everyday questions involving transgender students. The guidance presented best practices from schools across the country and advised schools on complying with case law under the Title IX sex discrimination law. Because of a new "Dear Colleague" letter signed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, schools now have no guidance from the federal government to ensure equal opportunity and protection for hundreds of thousands of transgender students across the country.
Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, offers the following statement in response:
This is a mean-spirited attack on hundreds of thousands of students who simply want to be their true selves and be treated with dignity while attending school. It seems almost every day the President chooses a new group to scapegoat and attack. Transgender students thrive when treated equally, but too often they are not. These young people already face incredible hurdles in their pursuit of education and acceptance. With a pen stroke, the Trump Administration effectively sanctions the bullying, ostracizing, and isolation of these children, putting their very lives in danger.
This Administration’s action sends a harmful message to transgender young people—that their government does not support them, and that it is fine to single out those who are different. That message is sure to empower bullies. But it does not change the legal and moral duty of schools to support all students. That’s why the nation’s education leaders and more and more schools in every part of the country are supporting transgender students, and that won’t change.
Transgender students are not going away. We call on every principal, teacher, school counselor and nurse, and every parent, family member and student across the country to stand by them.