February 23, 2017—In response to the Administration’s decision yesterday to rescind guidance on federal protections for transgender students, the undersigned 19 education organizations issued the following statement:
“As leaders in education policy and strong supporters of transgender students and every student, we disagree with the Administration’s decision to rescind federal guidance related to Title IX civil rights protections for transgender students in public schools. The guidance was based off of a strong legal precedent established by federal courts across the country, and rescinding it calls into question the protections that Title IX offers transgender students by law.
Far from creating confusion among school districts, the guidance clarified the responsibilities that all schools have under the law to provide safe learning environments for transgender students. The reality is that while schools nationwide are increasingly supporting and affirming transgender students, the majority of transgender students have been left behind. For the 60 percent of transgender students who do not attend a school with supportive and affirming policies, life can be much more difficult—and even dangerous.
Transgender students are much more likely than their peers to face harassment and discrimination at school, putting them at increased risk for suicide, self-harm and drug use. GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey has shown that 76 percent of transgender students felt unsafe at school simply because of their gender identity. Federal policy explicitly clarifying protections for transgender students is needed in order to ensure the protection of students’ civil rights in every single school in the country.
As a group, we are working to ensure that all students can enjoy a safe and affirming learning environment; have the support of educators, administrators, family members and peers; are affirmed in their gender identity and expression; and are protected by nondiscrimination policies that promote equity and respect for all members of the community.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Dance Therapy Association
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
American Psychological Association (APA)
American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
Clearinghouse on Women's Issues
Council for Exceptional Children
Magnet Schools of America
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
National Education Association (NEA)
School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA)
TESOL International Association