Several LFA Members Denounce New Federal Guidance on Transgender Students

By Joetta Sack-Min

Several LFA member organizations have issued statements opposing the Trump administration’s decision this week to rescind guidance protecting transgender students from discrimination. Following is a summary of those statements:

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said that transgendered students are often bullied and subject to violence, harassment and discrimination. “By rescinding these protections, the Trump administration is compromising the safety and security of some of our most vulnerable children. Children, not ideology, should be the priority,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten in this statement.

In a statement, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) called the decision “disheartening,” noting that "Principals will continue their efforts to support transgender and all other students in the face of new opposition and, sadly, with the knowledge that their president might not share their concern for the needs of each student."

NASSP also released a policy statement on transgender students last year.

The National Education Association (NEA) asked others to join its pledge to “double down” to protect the civil rights of LGBTQ students. “Withdrawing the guidance does not change the law. As most courts have held, Title IX protects transgender students, and only courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, can change that. Schools have a legal and a moral duty to support all students, including transgender students,” its press release states. 

And National PTA President Laura Bay condemned the decision in this statement: “Every child deserves to receive a great education in a setting free from discrimination, harassment and violence. The vast majority of LGBTQ students, however, are bullied, physically assaulted and feel unsafe in school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or identity. There is a need for explicit protection of LGBTQ youth as it is critical to their overall health and well-being and long-term success.”

Further, several LFA member organizations also signed a letter circulated by GLSEN that denounced the agency’s decision, saying “The guidance was based off of a strong legal precedent established by federal courts across the country, and rescinding it calls into question the protections that Title IX offers transgender students by law.”

Nineteen education groups signed that letter, including AFT, the American School Counselors Association (ASCA), NASSP, NEA, and National PTA.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ statement and the new guidance for schools is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

 

 

 

 

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