School Districts Must Still Comply or Risk Being Sued
SACRAMENTO—Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s recent reversal of transgender bathroom protections.
“President Trump’s unrelenting assault on the LGBT community is shameful. This latest directive singles out transgender youth and proves that the current Administration places politics over people.
Fortunately, the Executive Office does not have the power to single handedly change federal law. School districts nationwide are still legally required to comply with Title IX and protect transgender students. Schools that have protected the rights of transgender students should continue to do so and those that discriminate will still face liability in court.
As President Trump pursues his agenda of hate, the California Legislative LGBT Caucus is committed to resisting his misguided and backward policies. We will do everything in our power to ensure transgender youth feel safe and protected.”
Originally formed in 2002, the Caucus serves as a forum for the California Legislature to discuss issues that affect LGBT Californians and to further the goal of equality and justice for all residents in the state. Comprising both Senators and Assembly members, current Caucus members include: Chair Evan Low, Vice Chair Ricardo Lara, Senators Toni G. Atkins, Cathleen Galgiani and Scott Weiner, and Assembly members Susan Talamantes Eggman, Sabrina Cervantes, and Todd Gloria. The Caucus’ formation made California the first state in the country to recognize an official caucus of openly-LGBT state legislators.
TLDEF Statement Regarding Removal of
Federal Guidance That Protects Transgender Children
February 23, 2017 – The Trump Administration has withdrawn two letters providing guidance to schools across the nation about transgender student protections under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Guidance was put in place by the Obama Administration in May of 2016 to clarify legal protections previously in place to shield transgender students from discrimination. Part of this ensured that students could use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Many federal courts have held, in both Title IX and other contexts, that transgender people are included in sex discrimination protections.
The Trump Administration announced that it is rescinding the letters because of the portion relating to bathrooms. The practical effect of this withdrawal on thousands of transgender students and their parents, who have been assured of protection by our federal government under the law, will be the removal of vital information for transgender students, their parents, and school administrators, gathered conveniently into the Obama guidance letter. Transgender students are still protected by Title IX and applicable state and local laws and policies — but this decision removes comprehensive direction about the requirements of Title IX that was previously available through the federal government in a single document.
Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Jillian Weiss
“The withdrawal of this guidance is cruel and unacceptable. The information vacuum it creates leaves thousands of children vulnerable to harassment and stifles their ability to participate fully in their school environments. While administrators and school boards try to get basic information, they will likely be subjected to anti-transgender rhetoric designed to stoke fear.
“Administrators in nearly 15,000 school districts across the nation will have to find guidance where they can. Their ability to find and implement the medical and legal standards for addressing the needs of transgender students will inevitably strain local resources.
“In the face of this harsh federal action, we must not forget that the withdrawal of this guidance does not change what the law demands–which is sex discrimination protections for everyone in the United States, including transgender people. Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund will never waver in our dedication to fighting for transgender people in the courts, including transgender students, who deserve a quality education. We will continue to hold schools, employers and the federal government accountable.”
Saturday, we rally in Tacoma for transgender Washingtonians:
Moments ago, the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Education released a “Dear Colleague” letter rescinding guidance to protect transgender students across the country from discrimination.
Meanwhile, the same powerful forces behind this shameful federal attack are dispatching petitioners in neighborhoods across Washington to collect signatures on I-1552—a dangerous initiative to repeal our state’s protections for transgender people on the November ballot.
The Trump Administration says this is a states’ rights issue. If so, then our state’s right to protect each other from discrimination is on the line.
That’s why we need you to join us for a Decline to Sign I-1552 Rally in Tacoma THIS Saturday, February 25th, to show opponents of equality that Washingtonians are united in defense of our transgender neighbors and friends. We need you, your friends, and your handmade signs there.
RSVP to the rally this Saturday, Feb. 25th, at noon at UW Tacoma to send a strong message that Washington will NEVER roll-back protections for our transgender friends—and help us build the Decline to Sign campaign we’ll need to defeat I-1552.
When the federal government rescinded guidance protecting transgender students—some of the most vulnerable people in our society—from discrimination, it sent a heartbreaking message to transgender youth nationwide that they don’t matter, and aren’t worthy of the respect and privacy their peers enjoy.
In these hostile and uncertain times, I am proud to live in a state that for 11 years has affirmed the dignity of transgender people by protecting them from discrimination under Washington state law.
But what’s really scary is that the same people pushing the shameful federal attacks on transgender youth now have boots on the ground in Washington to push I-1552. And if they gather 260,000 petition signatures by July, the very non-discrimination protections that—for 11 years—have kept transgender Washingtonians safe could be repealed.
That’s why this Saturday, Feb. 25th, we’re rallying at UW Tacoma to grow our grassroots movement, spread the word about our Decline to Sign campaign, and take a stand against anti-transgender discrimination! Click here to RSVP.
Seriously, Melanie, we need you there this Saturday. Help us make history and defeat attempts to roll-back non-discrimination protections for our transgender neighbors and friends once and for all.
Laurie Jinkins, WA State Representative (Tacoma)
for Washington Won’t Discriminate