President Donald Trump issued new guidance to his Department of Justice and Department of Education that, in effect, rolls back the Barack Obama-era mandates for public schools around the nation to open bathroom doors to both sexes.
Obama, while president, had pushed through executive mandates on public schools that required them to allow transgender students to select which bathroom they felt most comfortable using. That meant boys who self-identified as girls could then use girls’ bathrooms and, in some cases, changing spaces, like locker rooms.
Parents around the nation expressed horror with the mandate, which came by way of Obama’s dictates to his Education and Justice Department, and played out on the local levels with threats to strip funding and sue noncomplying schools.
Trump on Wednesday issued new guidelines, while also doubling down on the obvious that discrimination against anyone, including transgenders, is unlawful.
From The Hill:
“Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, harassment or bullying,” the departments said. “All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Wednesday that the Obama administration’s former guidelines lacked a solid foundation in preexisting law, specifically Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.
“Congress, state legislatures and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue,” Sessions said.
“The Department of Justice remains committed to the proper interpretation and enforcement of Title IX and its protections for all students, including LGBTQ students, from discrimination, bullying and harassment.”
Betsy DeVos, secretary of Education, also sent out a statement about Trump’s action.
“‘Schools, communities and families can find – and in many cases have found – solutions that protect all students,’ she said.
“‘I have dedicated my career to advocating for and fighting on behalf of students, and as Secretary of Education, I consider protecting all students, including LGBTQ students, not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America.'”