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Trump may pull plug on Obama guidance protecting trans kids

Although not a legally binding guidance, schools were threatened with loss of funding if they didn’t adhere to the Obama directive.
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motherjones.com

What LGBT advocates have feared since last November may finally be happening according to an anonymous government official.

The revocation of federal guidelines put in place by Barack Obama to protect transgender men and women who want to choose which the restroom they use.

Although this decision has yet to be announced, the Associated Press says they have been informed of this pending plan on the understanding that his name would not be revealed.

The source says anti-bullying safeguards will not be affected by this overturn.

President Trump has said that the transgender bathroom issue should be a matter of state decision, not federal intervention.

Obama’s guidance was based on Title IX protections which makes sex discrimination in education unlawful, he thought those safeguards should also extend to gender identity.

Although not a legally binding guidance, schools were threatened with loss of funding if they didn’t adhere to the directive.

Reactionaries were not happy and argued that the federal government was overstepping their bounds on things that should be handled on a local level.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick went so far as to say he would forfeit any federal aid rather than abide by the guidance.

Thirteen states sued the Obama administration and the guidance was put on hold by a Texas federal judge this past August.

LGBT advocates fear that the reversal is a safety issue for children, even though federal law will still prohibit discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

Locally, Katharine Prescott who lost her transgender son, Kyler Prescott, after he died by suicide said she wanted to help others so that her tragedy wasn’t repeated.

"I was gratified to work with the Obama administration to ensure that this life-saving guidance was issued to help schools do the right thing by transgender students. Kyler’s story made a difference,” Prescott said in a statement. “Kyler was victimized daily by teachers, administrators, and peers who did not understand his gender identity and by a school that did not do what was needed to protect him.

"I pulled him out of the traditional classroom and put him in independent study. I could support and protect him at home, but not in school.

"I would welcome the chance to share my story with Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions to help them understand the real-life implications of reversing the Title IX guidance for protecting transgender students.”

Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of the  Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), said even though the Trump administration may abandon trans kids, GLSEN won't.

This guidance was developed and issued to support transgender students because the reality is that transgender students are far more likely to face severe violence and discrimination at school than their peers, placing them at greatly increased risk of suicide and self-harm as a result. When students are allowed to be themselves, they thrive.”

She adds: “This guidance changes and saves lives and hurts no one. It should not be withdrawn.”

Recently Laverne Cox mentioned Gavin Grimm during her appearance at the Grammys. Grimm, a transgender male, is set to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States on his pending discrimination case.

Rescinding the Obama directive my impact that case and others involving sex discrimination law.

Federal judges might relegate these cases to lower courts in which they would have the final word.