Well it looks as if Trump is at it again, going after Obama's Title IX Law. He looks to rescind or revoke this federal law that protects transgender rights, meaning the ability to use their bathroom, locker rooms and other public facilities that corresponds with their chosen gender identity, rather than their biological sex. It protects against disciminrationation, bullying and harassment of transgender students in schools, and revoking this law could do some serious damage, meaning that transgender students would be vulnerable.
In rescinding the bill it met with some conflict between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who were pitted against each other in the debate of transgender rights. DeVos did not want to sign onto the bill because she was she was concerned about the potential harms rescinding the bill would have on transgender students. However, Sessions pushed her to sign the bill, has been known as an open opposer to LGBTQA rights and sided with Trump, wanting Devos to drop her opposition.Unfortunately, she gave in and signed the bill because in defying the President, she had the alternative of resigning, and her unease was seen in her statement on Feb 22 night, and said that it was a “moral consideration” for all schools in america to protect their students against discrimination, harassment and bullying.
LGBTQA supporters protested in support of transgender rights, the day that the bill was announced, with the following chant, "No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here."
As of the moment,it is up to the individual schools whether or not to protect the transgender students, and they are free to let transgender students use the bathrooms where they are most comfortable. However, the Trump administration's decision will not be immediate due to an federal court issuing an nationwide injunction,meaning that different states have the ability to block Supreme Court ruling.
Trans rights supporters called this act of Trump’s reckless and cruel, “The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This isn’t a states’ rights issue; it’s a civil rights issue.”
While this recent attack damages trans rights on protections, DeVos did specifically place an order within it protecting transgender students from bullying, saying that all students should be able to learn in a safe environment. DeVos has been a supporter of LGBTQA rights for years, and has voiced her concerns about the rates of suicide within the transgender community.
You may ask what can be done to protect transgender youth against discrimination. Well, students can check with their schools to see what their policies are in support of protecting trans students. Protesting and assembling with a local LGBTQA group on campus or at your public school can help you get informed and raise your concerns on what can be done here.
In these difficult times when it may seem like the progress that has been made is spinning backward, its important to keep fighting for civil rights for all. All people no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation have the right to be protected and can openly express themselves. Transgender students should not have to face fear and discrimination, or use the bathroom that does not correlate with their specific identity. Reach out for those who may be going through this struggle right now and let them now that they are not alone. No administration or State law has the right to tell them where they should belong, and the LGBTQA groups and supporters are fighting on behalf of all transgender youth to make sure that they will be protected.