Protecting the rights of Transgender Students

 

NATASHA CLEMENCON

Editor-in-Chief

On February 27, the Trump administration got rid of certain protections for transgender students, potentially disallowing them from using the bathroom and locker room of their preferred gender. President Trump made this decision under the belief that the power to make such laws should be given back to the state and local school governments.

Trump’s new plan ignores the Obama-era plans set in place, which interpreted Title IX to include transgender protection in schools. However, the Trump administration claims that there is not enough extensive legal analysis of Title IX to assert that it covers such topics, which was the basis for revoking these protections, as well as the intention to provide state governments with more power.

“The president has made it clear throughout the campaign that he’s a firm believer in states’ rights,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “He believes that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level,”

Despite these rollback on protections, Betsy Devos and other members of Trump’s cabinet continue to promise that they prioritize the rights and safety of LGBT students as part of a schools’ success. Devos, the Secretary of Education, did not originally support this move.

Many activists and lawmakers see this new decision as incredibly threatening to transgender youth. They believe it makes students more vulnerable to discrimination and bullying in schools, and are calling out Trump for not honoring his promise to protect LGBT youth.  Most of the Republican argument for disallowing transgender students from using the bathroom of their identifying gender is that it will stop sexual predators from entering bathrooms and sexually harassing innocent people. However, there is no evidence that this has ever actually happened.

About 150,000 kids ages 13-17 identify as transgender in America, and their ability to use the locker room or bathroom that makes them most comfortable is at risk depending on the state they live in. However, the rescinding of these protections is not likely to actually affect anyone in California, or in Santa Barbara in general. Trump’s order gave control back to the states to make decisions on such protections, and California, being a very liberal state, will likely continue to uphold it’s more protective nature towards transgender students.

photo courtesy: wikimedia commons

 

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