Trump administration undoes Obama’s policy on transgender students and school bathrooms

The Trump administration undid protections for transgender students put in place by the Obama White House. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Trump Administration retreated today from the Obama White House’s position that transgender students should be able to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity.

The controversy may ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which considers the case of 17-year-old Gavin Grimm next month. A transgender student who identifies as male, Gavin sued the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia after he was barred from using the boy’s bathroom at school. The teen had been allowed to use the boy’s bathroom in 2014, but the school board received complaints and voted a year later to require students to use the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender.

The rescinding of the U.S Department of Education’s guidance on transgender student protections apparently came despite the reservations of new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Allegedly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued for the roll back and won over President Donald Trump.

In her statement tonight, DeVos cited “legal question” for the retreat on the policy, but also said, “We have a responsibility to protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment. This is not merely a federal mandate, but a moral obligation no individual, school, district or state can abdicate. At my direction, the Department’s Office for Civil Rights remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools.”

After the Obama administration issued its “Dear Colleague” guidance letter on school bathrooms in May, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods sent his own letter to Georgia’s 180 school districts, telling them:

As this guidance does not have the force of law, you are not required to comply with this directive or make changes to your established actions and policies. The doctrine of “local control” is deeply rooted in our constitution and laws here in Georgia, and I am confident that you, as the superintendent of your district, along with your board of education and with counsel and support from your local board attorney, will continue to appropriately address concerns surrounding this complex and sensitive matter. I believe there are safety and privacy concerns associated with allowing students of different genders to use the same bathroom and locker rooms. For that reason, I do not believe a student of another gender should use a restroom or locker room alongside students of the opposite sex.

The Trump reversal sparked swift rebukes. “We all know that Donald Trump is a bully, but his attack on transgender children today is a new low,” said Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest LGBT legal organization. “The U.S. Department of Education’s decision to withdraw guidance clarifying the rights of transgender students endangers the well-being and safety of children across the country.”

“We will continue to fight for the rights and dignity of transgender youth, especially now that the Trump administration has decided to turn its back on them,” said American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project Director James Esseks.

 

Reader Comments 0

94 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Please check out the name of Caster Semenya to learn more about the variations that occur in nature with regard to sex and gender, with scientific research of depth.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Oh....My....God.

When you enroll your child in school, one of the documents you bring is a birth certificate.  On that certificate is a box checked by a medical doctor indicating gender.  There are two choices:  Male or Female.  There is not another box titled "Other".

On very rare occasions, a person has a mixup in their chromosomes.  If diagnosed by a medical doctor, then the schools make accommodations for this student as they would for ANY SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD.

It's really that simple.

What you do NOT do is to make accommodations because little Johnny's two mommies decide to put a dress on him and call him little Suzie.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2 

Please do not mock transgender people, Lee.  They are already feeling pain in their situations and do not need further mockery as you do with your last paragraph, above, which is quite dismissive of this phenomena that we are just beginning to learn about as a society.

Some knowledge for you and others to digest, below:

1. When a baby is born, she or he will have the obvious genital differences divided into only 2 categories, male or female.

2. However, because of the number of transgender people who are speaking up, we realize that biological changes occur sometimes in utero in which the actual gender of the baby is not obvious from the genital organs, alone. 

3. How does this variation happen in utero?  Science does not yet know this in full with specificity, but scientists have learned that about the 3rd month into the pregnancy, hormonal changes that normally would make the embryo either male or female are ineffective.  Most know that the female clitoris is a smaller version of the male penis in practically all "normal" adults.  Thus, sexual determination does not have at conception but after several weeks into the pregnancy.  If the fetus is to become a male, the clitoris grows into the penis size, and if the fetus is to become a female, the clitoris stays as designed for the female.

4.  Nature is not always perfect, as we well know, so that there have probably always been transgendered people. We are only evolving as a human race to the point that that dysfunction in nature is now able to be discussed openly.  (Yes, we have evolved as a race because now homosexuals - not transgenders - are no longer considered to be mentally ill, just a deviation from the majority, and homosexuals can now marry legally as a result of our evolution as a human race. This was not true even two decades ago.)  Homosexuals and transgendered people have probably always existed.  We are simply becoming more knowledgeable of their conditions in terms of science and psychology and we are now open enough as a society to discuss these topics without mocking them.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings @Lee_CPA2

I didn't "mock" transgender people.  As I stated above, if a person has a true MEDICAL CONDITION, then we treat that individually as required with special accommodations.

But when the same people who tell you that race is a "social construct" double down and say that gender is fluid and people should be able to choose which bathroom to use simply because they "feel" as though they are the opposite gender, then yes, they are worthy of our derision and mockery.

BTW, just because the American Psychological Association succumbed to political correctness in the 70's does not mean that homosexuality is "normal".  It is a mental disorder the same as the schizophrenic or the paranoid psychotic.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2 @MaryElizabethSings


Just because you, as a certified public accountant by profession, assert something regarding sexuality does not make your opinion have validity, necessarily.  In fact, your uninformed assertion makes you appear unlearned in that area, and even bigoted.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings @Lee_CPA2 

Ah yes, the standard educator's retort....."I didn't like what you said so you must be uneducated and ignorant".

I post to a couple of other online boards, but this is the only one where I get that type of response.  Educators seem to care more about what degree you have rather than what you say.


Very interesting....

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Your posts regarding transgender people contain little knowledge and mainly offer only preconceived biases.

Knowledge is more important to me than higher education degrees although I earned two higher education degrees and value them.

Mack68
Mack68

@Lee_CPA2 So there are obviously people who have clear external markers of being intersexed (formerly termed as hermaphrodites).  There are also people who have invisible internal physical markers such as vestigial ovaries in boys. Where do you draw the line? 

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings

Well Golly Gee.  Excuse me for not copying and pasting something out of Wikipedia like most of the "knowledgeable" people do.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@Mack68 @Lee_CPA2

I'd say you draw the line at 1) the box that is checked on the birth certificate and 2) a medical diagnosis by a medical professional.

Mack68
Mack68

Wrong.

One of my childhood friends was a hermaphrodite. She had combined genitalia (which freaked me out at the time). 

We know that scientifically this happens, and not all that rarely, even though we like to pretend that it doesn't exist.

Why is it then that someone who deeply identifies as another gender is not recognized even if they don't actually have the physical markers? Biology is messy.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Mack68


Thank you for sharing knowledge instead of indulging in ignorance, Mack.  Your personal testimony here is valued.


When we, as a human race, can see through all biology into the spirit within each human being and know that that spirit is who each person is, not their skin color nor their genital plumbing, then we will have arrived at a higher level of consciousness, getting that much closer to understanding the mind of God.


And, perhaps, that higher awareness might lead us into seeing the unique spirit within each animal, and even the spirit contained within all life, with whom we share a common home, the Earth. 

Starik
Starik

@MaryElizabethSings @Mack68 One restroom for everybody. Save money on construction. One of my favorite restaurants has 4 separate bathrooms. What a waste.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Starik @MaryElizabethSings @Mack68


One restroom for all might be a solution, but men would need to give up open urinals and everyone would have a private stall, with closed doors, in the one restroom. 


Modesty is important to many people, regardless of their sexual plumbing.

Erbonn
Erbonn

This never was a federal issue; Obama got this one wrong too.  Anything not specifically mentioned in the Constitution is reserved to the States.  

Beyond the legalities, there is no such thing as transgender nor gender variations.  You are what you are born as your whole life, and cannot change it.  Genetically, biologically, and physiologically you will remain the sex you were born as; you were born a girl, you will die a girl; if you were born a boy, you will die a boy.  No amount of surgical or drug mutilation of you body can change that.  You cannot change your sex, just like you cannot change your race.  

JaperJones1918
JaperJones1918

I'll tell you why libs keep losing elections and will continue to do so. They are more worried about the 0.03% of the population that identifies as transgender, and illegal immigrants than they are Americans.

Starik
Starik

@JaperJones1918 Why are conservatives so upset about illegal immigration? They're here, most of them working hard for us, and they should be welcomed.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

For Jasper Jones 1918-

"They are more worried about the 0.03% of the population that identifies as transgender, and illegal immigrants than they are Americans."

------------------------------

"All men are created equal." Thomas Jefferson.

Starik
Starik

@BurroughstonBroch Look at any reliable statistics. Google "crime statistics by race" for a sample. Or go to your local felony arraignment

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

You would think retired "educators" would understand basic biology.


Apparently not.


Starik
Starik

Why in the world did the Obama administration initiate this mess? It's being litigated; let the Supreme Court settle it. All this "guidance letter" did was energize the Trump voters.

TGT88
TGT88

@MaryElizabethSings Because it was the right thing to do.


According to what moral standard? Surely liberals are not attempting to "force their morality" on the rest of us!

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@Starik

"Why in the world did the Obama administration initiate this mess?"

Because we are now arguing about which bathroom to use instead of talking about why the deficit has reached astronomical proportions, why our troops are still engaged in a war in the Middle East, why we are still occupying a foreign country, why his administration STILL hasn't stemmed the flow of ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS, ad infinitum.

TGT88
TGT88

Note the ignorant irony of MaryElizabethSings two comments below: To battle the cause of the human rights of black people is to battle biology. To further the cause of the human "rights" of the gender-confused is to battle biology. Of course, no one should be surprised that those corrupted by a liberal worldview are inconsistent and illogical. 

Starik
Starik

@MaryElizabethSings Creator? He, she or it did a lousy job if he, she or it really created life. Our bodies, in particular, are overly complex and inefficient.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@TGT88 American 'rights' were established long ago son and there is no mention of biology, behavior, psychology, or profession.  That's America - love it or leave it.

TGT88
TGT88

@Ralph-43 @TGT88 They didn't mention "biology" because there was no need to. In other words, even most fools knew (and know) that sound law and good government would not (and does not) contradict what science reveals. But thanks anyway, "pops."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Human consciousness is steadily evolving throughout the world. Darwin's scientific findings regarding the various species of life and how they change over time have been part of that evolution, as well as the intellectual breakthroughs in human consciousness of Thomas Jefferson that all men are created equal, as well as breakthroughs in human consciousness explored be Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

TGT88
TGT88

@MaryElizabethSings Human consciousness is steadily evolving throughout the world.


That is meaningless nonsense meant to make those who reject the notion of a Creator and His Law feel better about going their own way.


And when I was referring to biology, I certainly wasn't making a reference to Darwinian evolution. So what are we to believe, that "transgenders" (the gender-confused) are somehow a next step in "human evolution?" That type of thinking can justify virtually anything, and is why liberals should never be in charge of anything. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I have always believed in God. He is the force behind all. As Albert Einstein expressed, scientific discovery enlightens human beings more fully about the mind and spirit of our Creator.

I believe our awakening regarding gender variations is related to both our intellectual and spiritual evolution as a species.

JaperJones1918
JaperJones1918

You don't uproot societal norms for a tiny fraction of the population.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"You don't uproot societal norms for a tiny fraction of the population."

-------------------------

When one person's human rights are violated, all persons' rights are compromised.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

This is a national civil rights issue, not a states' rights issue, because the human rights of all transgender people throughout the nation must be protected under federal laws, just as 50 years ago the human rights of all black people throughout our nation were protected by federal laws.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

As with changing from a racially segregated society to an integrated one, the human rights of individuals regarding individual gender identification must first be honored and working through the logistical changes in societal norms as a result of honoring individual rights, as equal human beings, will follow, over time.

In other words, we must prioritize our values and actions by first recognizing that nothing moves forward if the horse is not placed before the cart, not the reverse.

JaperJones1918
JaperJones1918

You're comparing about 100,000 trannies with the civil rights of over 30 million blacks? you should be ashamed of yourself

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Gender identity/equality is a slippery slope. As mentioned below, why would choosing to be on a female sports team be prohibited, but choosing to use the girls locker room would not. It is not a gender equality issue. It is a logic issue. Why are female sports teams protected?

#Constitutionalist
#Constitutionalist

@AvgGeorgian 

Perhaps following the adolescent daughters of liberals into restrooms and locker rooms shouldn't be prohibited.

Might allow society to focus on protecting other people's daughters.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@#Constitutionalist @AvgGeorgian


When my daughter was in her teens (now mid 20's) she had a transgender friend and now has several more. Not once was there a bathroom issue. Transgender folks go to the bathroom to use the facilities, not to ogle.