Betsy DeVos Denies Trans Students Basic Rights

On March 27, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appeared before the House Appropriations Committee to answer questions about the administration’s first year in office. While I had no shortage of questions for her, one of my top priorities was asking her about her department’s failure to protect the rights of transgender students.

During the Obama administration, the Department of Education issued guidance to public schools explaining that schools should allow students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity in accordance with basic civil rights law under Title IX.

I heard from plenty of teachers and administrators throughout Wisconsin who were either already acting in accordance with the new rule, or gladly welcomed guidance on this important issue.

However, Secretary DeVos rescinded the Obama-era guidance in 2017, robbing transgender students of rights which should be afforded to every public school student.

In February of this year, Secretary DeVos continued to discriminate against transgender students by announcing that her department would not investigate any complaints filed by transgender students who had been banned from restrooms that match their gender identity.

When this happened, I couldn’t help but think of Ashton Whitaker, a young man from my home town of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who is currently a first year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2016, Ashton rightly challenged his school to allow him to use the restroom consistent with his gender identity. Courts affirmed that forcing this young man to use the wrong restroom constituted illegal discrimination on the basis of sex.

In 2018, we should not need a refresher on basic discrimination. Rescinding someone’s rights, which have been upheld in court, on the basis of their gender identity is wrong. Refusing to listen to complaints from a certain population of students is wrong.

Secretary DeVos has consistently shown her willful ignorance when failing to visit underperforming schools, as well as her mean-spirited, anti-LGBT views when denying rights to certain students. At some point, she should realize that as Secretary of Education, she is supposed to represent all students, not just a select few.

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Anonymous

Pmb1, the difference between your child and my child is that yours has a person is and mine has a vagina. My daughter is kind and accepting to children who have penises but that doesn't extend to letting them decide when they will see her naked against her will.

Anonymous

By saying this you are implying that all transgender people are pedophiles, which is not true at all. Trans people are trying to use the bathroom they feel comfortable with, the same as your daughter. Also, your daughter likely will not even know, or really shouldn't for privacy reasons, that a trans woman, so a woman, is using the same restroom as her. It is none of her or your business whether or not someone is transgender, and they don't have to tell you. Do your research and think a bit more before commenting. Thanks :)

Max Shaw

By your theory, biological males who are sterile or who cannot create viable sperm are not in fact men, and by that same logic females incapable of bearing children are not “real women.” Why is it that people who shouldn’t have children are having them by the bushel?

Tamara

It's not discrimination. It's respecting First Amendment religious beliefs. Marriage is between a man and a woman as recognized by the major religions of Judaism and Islam in addition to christianity. Gender is either male or female from birth. The law needs to recognize basic reality. Men should not use toilet and shower facilities with women. That is dangerous for everyone. Separate facilities protect all students.

Anonymous

Where was the part about the toliet in the first amendment again? I've read it over and over again and I just keep missing it.

... Or maybe you should stop trying to add thing to our constitution that don't exist. Well we're at it, I'm pretty sure there isn't anything in there about christians (or anyone else) have a trademark on marriage. If we want to call an agreement between two men a marriage then we can and will. If that makes you sad then I guess you have something in common with all the other "snowflakes" that people who share your worldview like to talk about.

Anonymous

That's YOUR church and belief. My Christian church believes and practices differntly...so you are discriminating against MY beliefs and the beliefs of my church. The religious 1st amendment argument here does not apply.

Anonymous

It's also respecting the legal integrity of the female gender which h is important if women want to keep the Civil Rights protections pertaining to women.

Anonymous

Why should other people be subject to your religion? How would you feel if you had to adhere to a Muslim person’s religious beliefs?

louisesumrell@g...

Evil woman

James

There is only two (2) genders; MALE and FEMALE!

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