Donald Trump's administration appears poised to overturn a vague Obama administration order allowing transgender students in America's taxpayer-funded schools to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
The Washington Post obtained a draft of a letter Trump will reportedly send to schools across the country, stating that the administration will not be upholding Obama's guidance on the trans bathrooms issue. The case involves transgender student Gavin Grimm, who sued the Gloucester County School Board for diverting him from the boys' bathroom to using a janitor's closet converted into a bathroom.
The spokesman said Trump believes in "states' rights", saying that the issue of transgender rights in restrooms in public schools and other public buildings is best left for the 50 US state governments to decide.
A government official with direct knowledge of the administration's plans discussed them on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak on the record.
Last May, the Obama administration's guidance allowed students to use restrooms and participate in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. Opponents argued it was overreach. Most immediately, the move could neutralize lawsuits from more than a dozen states that had challenged the policy.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the Trump administration must affirm the guidance for transgender students must remain in place.
"This is the first day of the President's second month in office and he is now fully coming after LGBT people", the National Center for Transgender Equality's Mara Keisling told the Blade.
"They have also struggled to understand and apply the statements of policy and guidance" in the former President's policy.
"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", Griffin said.
On March 28, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on what will likely be a landmark case regarding the rights of transgender students.
Although DeVos and her family are known for being aligned with various social conservative causes and organizations, her reported objection to Sessions' and Trump's plan to rescind the Obama transgender protections has been praised from some in the left-leaning media.
This week pits Jeff Session's prejudice against Betsy DeVos' cowardice.
Goodman's organization is poised to release the findings of research that finds that of Pennsylvania's 500 public school districts, only 6 percent have adopted policies that prevent discrimination based on gender identity. Still, they said, lifting the Obama directive puts children in harm's way. He also said that those directives violated the rights of other students, especially girls who may have suffered from sexual abuse in the past and do not want to be exposed to male anatomy. According to The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, there are about 150,000 transgender children between the ages of 13 and 17 in the United States.
Locally, Katharine Prescott who lost her transgender son, Kyler Prescott, after he died by suicide said she wanted to help others so that her tragedy wasn't repeated.
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