In late February, the Trump administration revoked federal guidelines that require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice rather than the one corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate.
ASHA president and CEO Lynn B. Barclay points out that while laws remain in place that protect transgender students from discrimination harassment, the administration’s move sends a chilling message: “Imagine trying to navigate not only the normal challenges that are a part of growing up but also having face a society that is far from welcoming to sexual minorities,” she says. “Gender identity and expression should not be impacted by ideology. Respecting the privacy of transgender students in choosing which bathroom to use is a matter of decency and fairness and these kids should not be targeted by partisan politics.”
The Trump administration says these matters are best handled at the state and local levels but Barclay believes federal protection is necessary to ensure equal, consistent treatment across the nation. “LGBTQ rights are under assault and making an appeal to ‘states’ rights’ is just smoke and mirrors. We need robust, nationwide protections in place so all students are treated fairly no matter where they live. We have to be better than this.”
What do you think about this policy reversal? Better still, what would you like to do about it? Learn how you can get involved to make your voice heard and also consider becoming an ASHA Ambassador.