Nothing is safe from President Donald Trump. He is systematically dismantling every shred of human decency left in government policy.
Just when a person thinks that Trump has hit his lowest low, he keeps digging. According to Mara Keisling, the executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, President Trump has given the go-ahead on rescinding guidelines for Trans equality in schools.
President Barack Obama instituted the guidance which directed schools to eliminate discrimination against transgender students and ensure they know they have the right to utilize the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
Keisling, parents of transgender students, and the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies are rightfully devastated. Keisling told the Washington Blade that:
‘I’m angry; I’m outraged. This is about kids who just want to go to school who just want to be themselves, and to hear the president a week or two ago talk about how supportive he is of LGBT people, it’s just outrageous that he go after trans kids this way…This is the first day of the president’s second month in office and he is now fully coming after LGBT people.’
However, many others are not surprised — rescinding these guidelines would be consistent with a campaign promise Trump made. It is allegedly the intention of the Trump administration to rescind the guidance shortly after the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.
Given this nomination for Education Secretary, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. DeVos was previously accused by Rep. Mark Pocan of:
‘…Donat[ing] extensively to groups which promote the idea that students who identify as LGBT must undergo “conversion” therapy and … affiliate[ing] with groups that oppose anti-bullying legislation.’
Human Rights Campaign president, Chad Griffin urged President Trump to reconsider:
‘Transgender young people face tragically high rates of discrimination and bullying, and they need a government that will stand up for them — not attack them… It’s shocking that this kind of harm would even be a subject of debate for the president. We call on Trump to immediately and permanently affirm the Obama Administration’s guidance and protect transgender students.’
A spokesperson for the White House, Kelly Love responded to requests for comment or confirmation with:
‘We have nothing to add to this report right now, but will keep you posted if anything changes.’
What is being described as a “flurry of letters” have been sent to President Trump and various members of his cabinet and his administration calling for a change of heart. In any case, Keisling says that while the guidance can be rescinded, to subsequently begin telling transgender students they can’t use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity would violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This title protects the rights of students with regard to sex discrimination.
In light of this, Keisling is hopeful:
‘It doesn’t take away trans kids’ rights…It’s Title IX that protects us, not Donald Trump or Attorney General Sessions agreeing with us on Title IX.’
We suppose then, that as long as Title IX remains unchanged, schools will continue to do what is best for their transgender students.
Feature Image via Getty Images/Sara D. Davis.