Family Equality Council Condemns Decision to Rescind Transgender Schools Guidance

“This decision sends the message to transgender and gender nonconforming children and their parents that the federal government does not have their backs.”

February 22, 2017

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Today the Department of Justice and the Department of Education formally rescinded guidance issued by the same departments in 2016 that outlined public schools’ responsibilities to transgender students under Title IX. Family Equality Council strongly condemns this action by the Trump Administration as a regressive and reprehensible step backwards, and as an indication that the federal government is unwilling to stand up for the rights and day-to-day safety of some of our nation’s most vulnerable children

“Every student deserves the opportunity to attend school in an environment that protects them from bullying and discrimination, and every parent wants to know that their child is safe at school,” said Family Equality Council CEO Stan J. Sloan. “This decision sends the message to transgender and gender nonconforming children and their parents that the federal government does not have their backs.”

Family Equality Council has seen the impact of this uncertainty first hand, as more and more families with transgender or gender nonconforming children attend our community events nationwide, seeking safe spaces and communities that are affirming for their kids. In response to the Obama Administration’s guidance, Family Equality Council created the “Creating Transgender Inclusive Schools” toolkit, to help parents and educators best serve this vulnerable population.

The Trump administration is trying to cast transgender protections as a “states’ rights” issue. Leaving aside ugly comparisons to previous civil rights struggles that were framed with “states’ rights rhetoric, this points to a future in which the family of a transgender child facing bullying or discrimination in one state would simply be told to pick up and move to a different state which is more welcoming. This is not the vision of lived and legal equality that Family Equality Council is working to achieve for LGBTQ families. Moreover, it ignores the fact that Title IX stands as existing federal law that protects the rights of transgender students in all states across the country. Choosing not to enforce Title IX for transgender children should not be an option open to states or school districts anywhere in the United States.

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About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer in this country today and their six million children of all ages. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated — including families with parents who are LGBTQ. We are a community of parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren and unattached youth that reaches across this country. For almost forty years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families. As we look to the next chapter of our work, we are also focused on LGBTQ youth needing families and the two million LGBTQ adults waiting to foster or adopt in our country.