Advocacy Needed To Protect Transgender Youth In Schools

A Message from CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers on the federal government’s decision to rescind guidance on protecting transgender students in schools.

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From CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers:
On February 22, the Trump administration rescinded guidance issued to school districts by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice on accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students under Title IX.
“The decision by the Trump administration to rescind the joint TItle IX Guidance is an unabashed message that they will not protect the rights of the LGBT community, particularly LGBT youth,” said CenterLink CEO Terry Stone. “Despite the terrible message this action sends—that this administration will not protect even the most vulnerable young people in the country from discrimination—LGBT youth must know that the law is on their side, as are local LGBT community centers.”
  • Withdrawing the Department’s guidance letter would not change the law.  Title IX protects Transgender students, as most courts have agreed. Schools have a legal and moral duty to support all students, including Transgender students.  The federal guidance was based on over a decade of case law and proven best practices from schools around the country. Five federal appeals courts and over a dozen district courts have found that federal sex discrimination laws, including Title IX, prohibit discrimination against Transgender people. One district court, however, issued a nationwide order preventing the Departments from enforcing Title IX in some cases involving Transgender students.
  • The nation’s education leaders – including the leading associations of teachers, principals, pediatricians, school counselors and psychologists – support treating all students equally and consistent with their gender identity. The guidance is already working for nearly half of America’s students. The federal guidance is based on guidelines from 14 states and DC, and from hundreds of other local school districts, with tens of millions of students.
  • Gavin Grimm’s case before the Supreme Court next month is more important than ever. The questions before the court are: (1) To evaluate the guidance and (2) Whether the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX applies to Transgender students seeking to use the restroom in school consistent with their gender identity.  If the federal government rescinds the guidance, the second question would still be before the court.
The LGBT community center network is poised across the country to provide support to LGBT youth, and we will work with our national partners to oppose any and all attempts by this administration to impose fringe ideologies that are harmful to our communities. Take a look at NCTE’s FAQ to learn what this means for trans students.
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What Can YOU Do?
We’re taking the lead from our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)!
  1. Organize a rally in your own community, and tag us on social media (@CenterLink) so that we can help spread the word.
  2. Call or write to President Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to tell them why taking away this guidance is so harmful.
  3. Join NCTE’s Community Call today until 8:00pm EST on Facebook Live to learn more about what this development means and how you can help us fight back.