On Wednesday, February 22, the Trump administration took a stand against transgender rights by rescinding the Obama Administrations order that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.
Jeff Sessions, the U.S Attorney General, spearheaded the decision despite serious reservations from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was ultimately responsible for approving the decision. Media outlets have reported President Trump had to pressure DeVos into agreeing with the decision.
Sessions and the Trump Administration claimed that this was not a federal matter and should be left up to states to decide.
One in two Transgender people report having been sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and 12 percent report being sexually assaulted by an educator or peer in a K-12 setting, according to the Office for Victims of Crime.
One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, made the following comments in a press release Wednesday.
“This is a serious attack by the Trump Administration on transgender students; opening them up to harassment, discrimination, and violence in their schools. No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at their school or college campus. We should not further marginalize transgender people, who are precisely those most at risk of discrimination.”
“Luckily, Colorado has been on the right side of this issue for years, by including sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination law, passed in 2008. Numerous Colorado education associations — including the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and the Colorado High School Activities and Athletics Association — know that transgender students should be protected and have the right to facilities, activities, and athletics that correspond with their gender identity.”
“If schools wish to discriminate against transgender Americans, they should do it on their own dime. Title IX states that no education program or activity receiving federal funding can be allowed to discriminate. By rescinding this guidance, public funds can now be used to discriminate against transgender students.”
“Transgender students only want to live their lives and go to school like every other student does, and that includes being able to use the bathroom without harassment. We are disappointed in President Trump, and his administration, for sanctioning potential harassment and violence against students, including transgender students.”