A year after President Donald J. Trump suspended the Obama Administration’s “Dear Colleague” position on transgender students, the Department of Education has confirmed that it will no longer investigate civil rights complaints from students who identify as the opposite sex and who have been barred from using the private facilities of their choice.
The Washington Post is reporting on the new policy which is based on a much different interpretation of the sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX than the previous administration. The Obama administration interpreted discrimination on the basis of sex to include the transgendered, but the Trump administration sees it much differently.
“Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill said in response to questions from The Washington Post.
“Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. In the case of bathrooms, however, longstanding regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
LGBTQ activists say this reversal leaves these students more vulnerable to bullying and violence, but the Trump administration insists they will not tolerate any such behavior.
“Please note that the withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying or harassment,” DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos wrote last year after she rescinded the Obama-era protections from transgender students. “All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
As the Post reports, allowing children to use the restrooms of their choice has been a polarizing issue for the nation.
“Transgender students say using the bathroom that feels right for them is essential for their safety and well-being and poses no threat to others. Some other students and their families see it as an affront to privacy and traditional values,” they report.
The battle has been waged everywhere from state legislatures and school board meetings to the highest court in the land – the U.S. Supreme Court – which opted not to take on the case of a transgender student from Virginia named Gavin Grimm, in 2016.
According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, about 0.7 percent of 13 to 17 year-olds identify as transgender. Some studies estimate the number as high as three percent.
However, data collection from this demographic has been described by some education leaders as “cumbersome and overwhelming” and is often hampered by parents who are concerned about privacy issues surrounding student surveys. At this point, most of the data being collected is from activist and other advocacy organizations which is biased and therefore unreliable.
This is further hampered by the fact that rising awareness of transgender issues may be leading more teens to experiment with gender identification simply because it’s in vogue rather than because they actually identify with the opposite sex.
This is significant because, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the “bible” of the mental health community, as many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
For this reason, the American College of Pediatricians issued a strong statement last year saying that “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.
“Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures they will ‘choose’ a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”
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