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"We all know that Donald Trump is a bully, but this attack on transgender children is a new low," writes Tiven. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Overlay by Lambda Legal)

Even for a Bully Like Trump, Attacking Children Is a New Low

Rachel Tiven

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education rescinded the Obama administration’s 2016 Title IX guidance clarifying the rights of transgender students. 

We all know that Donald Trump is a bully, but this attack on transgender children is a new low. Yesterday's move could endanger the well-being and safety of children across the country.

Trump’s actions do not change the law itself — transgender students remain protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 — but abandoning the guidance intentionally creates confusion about what federal law requires. The law bars discrimination — the new administration invites it.

Betsy DeVos became Education Secretary just one week ago. At her brief confirmation hearing, she publicly committed to protecting LGBT students — this harms them. 

Over the past week, Donald Trump has attacked perhaps the two most vulnerable groups of children in America: transgender children and refugee children. While his Education Secretary was busy withdrawing protective guidance for trans kids, his Homeland Security Secretary signed memos that strip legal protections from children who arrive alone at our borders, seeking refuge.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary DeVos give us sickening echoes of the racially segregated schools era by claiming that enforcement of this federal civil rights law is a "states’ rights issue." This is not just a bizarre misunderstanding. We recognize that language. This is a cynical rejection of the federal government’s responsibility to enforce federal law protections for vulnerable students.

While the Trump/Pence administration wages its War on Children, we at Lambda Legal will redouble our efforts to protect transgender and other vulnerable kids. We are already in court fighting for transgender students, and we are prepared to sue any school district that discriminates in the wake of the Trump administration’s latest actions.

If you experience discrimination, contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Rachel Tiven

Rachel B. Tiven is the Chief Executive Officer of Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest LGBT legal organization.

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