The White House recently recanted the guidelines that asserted transgender individuals are protected from discrimination under #Title Ix. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos insists that this will have little immediate impact on students. She claims that the department will continue to ensure that bullying, harassment and discrimination cases are investigated. #trump, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon also supposedly ignored DeVos's original protests to the decision, pressuring her to concede. Ultimately, actions speak louder than words. This administration has just left many transgender youth without protection.
Title IX and transgender rights
For some context, Title IX is a federal law which protects against discrimination in education systems.
Sex discrimination is one of the aspects of identity covered under this law. Former president Obama passed guidelines which interpreted this part to include gender identity. Therefore, transgender individuals were protected from harassment, bullying, having to "prove" their gender identity, being denied access to facilities (such as bathrooms) that matched their gender identity and much more. They therefore had grounds to take it to court if they felt these guidelines were not being followed.
Trump takes away protection for transgender youth
By undoing these guidelines, Trump's administration can say they are just restoring states' rights, that they are still committed to protecting students against harassment, bullying, and discrimination and that it will not have an immediate impact upon students. However, those statements won't hold up in action. This leaves transgender students without much ground to stand on anymore when it comes to legally fighting for their rights.
Public schools in some states can now feel free to ignore the needs of transgender students and to turn a blind eye to bullying and harassment like they already do for so many students. Peers and authority figures alike can now discriminate against them without any fear of backlash, can force them to use certain facilities or isolate them in a "separate but equal" scenario. Hate for transgender individuals will only grow after this ruling. This could drive already-high suicide rates among transgender youth upward.
Transphobia in the White House
It's disturbing when the administration running this country makes a decision that undoes previous protection for a group of students. And for what? Many against the guidelines claim it's a matter of safety for other, non-transgender students.
There is no statistically significant data to support that transgender individuals attack others in facilities. There is, though, plenty of data to support that those other students attack transgender students, with the National Center for Transgender Equality reporting 75 percent of trans youth feel unsafe in public schools. To paint transgender individuals as threats is illogical and implies that one is inherently more likely to act violently if one is transgender. Such an intolerant ruling (using the excuse of "states' rights." Trump despaired over a federal judge trying to block even one of his many Executive Orders, he clearly does not take criticism or disagreement well) sends a message that this government is not working for the people.
The Trump administration's ruling that Title IX doesn't cover transgender rights only adds another reason to the list of why the people need to resist this presidency. As more groups are targeted under the guise of cleansing the White House of the "terrible" presidency of Obama, we must not turn on each other but instead unite and stay engaged. Transgender youth choose to be transgender no more than other youth choose to be of a certain race. And, it seems, in this country, both face punishment for it. Depending on the state, transgender youth across the country could be left to fend for themselves and see a surge of bullying and harassment. They were only just beginning to see hope for acceptance.