TLDEF Statement Regarding Removal of Federal Guidance That Protects Transgender Children
TLDEF Statement Regarding Removal of
Federal Guidance That Protects Transgender Children
– The Trump Administration has withdrawn two letters providing guidance to schools across the nation about transgender student protections under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Guidance was put in place by the Obama Administration in May of 2016 to clarify legal protections previously in place to shield transgender students from discrimination. Part of this ensured that students could use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Many federal courts have held, in both Title IX and other contexts, that transgender people are included in sex discrimination protections.
The Trump Administration announced that it is rescinding the letters because of the portion relating to bathrooms. The practical effect of this withdrawal on thousands of transgender students and their parents, who have been assured of protection by our federal government under the law, will be the removal of vital information for transgender students, their parents, and school administrators, gathered conveniently into the Obama guidance letter. Transgender students are still protected by Title IX and applicable state and local laws and policies -- but this decision removes comprehensive direction about the requirements of Title IX that was previously available through the federal government in a single document.
Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Jillian Weiss
“The withdrawal of this guidance is cruel and unacceptable. The information vacuum it creates leaves thousands of children vulnerable to harassment and stifles their ability to participate fully in their school environments. While administrators and school boards try to get basic information, they will likely be subjected to anti-transgender rhetoric designed to stoke fear.
“Administrators in nearly 15,000 school districts across the nation will have to find guidance where they can. Their ability to find and implement the medical and legal standards for addressing the needs of transgender students will inevitably strain local resources.
“In the face of this harsh federal action, we must not forget that the withdrawal of this guidance does not change what the law demands--which is sex discrimination protections for everyone in the United States, including transgender people. Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund will never waver in our dedication to fighting for transgender people in the courts, including transgender students, who deserve a quality education. We will continue to hold schools, employers and the federal government accountable.”