New Trump policy endangers rights of transgender students
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President Donald Trump announced Feb. 22 that he would be repealing President Barack Obama’s protection guidelines for transgender students. These protection guidelines were based on the idea that discrimination against transgender students is a form of sex discrimination, prohibited by Title IX.
The Trump letter, released on Feb. 22, overturned the policies on transgender students created by Obama that granted transgender students the right to use facilities that matched their gender identity.
The Trump letter explains that the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX “has given rise to significant litigation” and the Trump administration “decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further consider the legal issues involved,” referring to a the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which “concluded that the term ‘sex’ in the regulations is ambiguous.”
This is ridiculous, as the Obama administration letter clearly stated that sex discrimination “encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.”
“When a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity,” is the directive given to school officials in the Obama administration letter.
The Trump administration letter stated that “…this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
If the Trump administration truly believed that all students deserve to exist in a safe learning environment, they would not have withdrawn the guidance issued by Obama. Without the guidelines, there is nothing to stop school administrators from actively discriminating against transgender students.
Removing the protections that Obama granted to transgender kids may also embolden some students to harass their transgender peers. Trump’s open hatred is contagious and has been spreading like a wildfire since the election. This is only the latest example.
Transgender students deserve better than what the current administration is giving them. For years, the transgender community has struggled to obtain recognition and respect in the eyes of the law. Transgender teens have had to deal with rejection from family and friends in the form of bullying, conversion therapy, and homelessness.
It is detestable that transgender people are not valued by society and are being left vulnerable by the government and being deprived of what little legal protections they have. If Trump and his cronies sincerely cared about transgender students at all, this would not have happened.
Once again, it is up to the people to right wrongs and protect the innocent. The power to uphold justice does not belong solely to the government, but with the people as well.