Trump flushes Obama bathroom policy
March 7, 2017
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On February 23th, President Donald J. Trump reversed what was once former President Barrack Obama’s guidance towards transgender students and their ability to use the bathroom of their choice.
“As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level. The Joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers, and administrators.” Said a statement issued by the white house.
On May 13, 2016, under Barrack Obama, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a colleague letter on Transgender students, this letter was not an executive order but a form of guidance for schools throughout the country.
The colleague letter consists of terminology and the possible locations for which this advice might be needed. However, the majority of the letter focuses on Title IX.
Title IX, is an Education amendment that was signed into law on June 23, 1972 by President Richard Nixon.
Title IV is a federal law that prohibits the discrimination on the basis of sex in any government funded programs or activities.
The letter states that, “as a condition of receiving Federal funds, a school agrees that it will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities.”
The new colleague letter published on February 22, 2017 by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education is not an executive order. It is a withdrawal of guidance and policy that was issued by the colleague letter from May of 2016.
The letter states that, “…this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
With this reversal, it will be up to the states to decide appropriately; leaving transgender students with a lot of uncertainty. Only time will tell what this guidance removal may cause.