|Education Secretary Betsy DeVos needs to do her job to protect the rights of transgender students|
Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remarked during a meeting that it's hurtful when her critics claim that she isn't protecting the rights of students.
Really? When I'm glad she feels that way because girlfriend needs to explain why the Department of Education has yet again its their back on transgender students.
The Education Department has told BuzzFeed News it won't investigate or take action on any complaints filed by transgender students who are banned from restrooms that match their gender identity, charting new ground in the Trump administration's year-long broadside against LGBT rights.
It’s the first time officials have asserted this position publicly as an interpretation of law. No formal announcement has been made.
For nearly a year, the Trump administration took a less clear stance, with officials saying they were studying the issue. When the Education Department and Justice Department withdrew Obama-era guidance on transgender restroom access in February 2017, Trump’s officials said in a memo and court filings that they would "consider the legal issues involved.” Then last June, the Education Department issued another memo saying it was "permissible" for its civil rights division to dismiss a trans student's restroom case. However, in those statements, officials never cemented their intent to reject all restroom complaints issued by trans students.
For the past three weeks, BuzzFeed News called and emailed Education Department officials attempting to pinpoint the agency’s position. Finally on Thursday, Liz Hill, a spokesperson for the agency, responded “yes, that’s what the law says” when asked again if the Education Department holds a current position that restroom complaints from transgender students are not covered by a 1972 federal civil rights law called Title IX. Asked for further explanation on the department’s position, Hill said Friday, “Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity.”
She added that certain types of transgender complaints may be investigated — but not bathroom complaints.
The irony is that it is horror stories about young girls being in danger by being "trapped" in bathrooms with "predators" which has been the center of numerous attacks on the rights and dignity of the transgender community. Evangelical anti-LGBTQ groups have been successful in exploiting this even though there isn't as shred a proof backing it up.
In reality, it is the transgender community who are in danger because of these bathroom lies. According to a December 8, 2016 edition of Reuters, the National Center for Transgender Equality, in the largest survey taken of the transgender community, found that:
Almost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted . . .
Specifically when it comes to our transgender kids and school bathrooms, the issue is more poignant. Various articles have pointed out that forcing transgender children to use a bathroom not of their gender identity can be traumatic and degrading. Some students get bullied because of the unwarranted controversy and some would actually stop trying to use the school bathroom entirely Both being bullied and attempting to not use the bathroom when they have to has a detrimental effect on their health.
Furthermore, according to the Human Rights Campaign, in spite of DeVos statement of protecting students, the Department of Education under her leadership has been undermining the rights of transgender students:
Since the beginning of the Trump-Pence administration, the Department of Education, under the leadership of Secretary DeVos, has worked to undermine the protections and enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws. These actions, from withdrawing important guidance that clarified schools’ obligations to protect transgender students from discrimination under Title IX to rescinding Obama-era Title IX guidance related to schools' obligations to address sexual harassment and sexual violence, disproportionately impact LGBTQ people.
HRC also said that recently, over 700 parents of transgender students signed a letter to DeVos condemning the actions of the Department of Education in failing to protect the right of transgender students.
One wonders if that letter was what led to DeVos's self-pitying statement of being hurt by accusations that she isn't protecting students.
Well the truth generally hurts, but not as much as being bullied, degraded, embarrassed, or attempting to time your bodily functions to avoid the ignorance of others. So I would suggest that Secretary DeVos get over her supposed hurt and concentrate on eliminating the hurt of our transgender children.
After all, that is her job.