The Trump administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students in public schools. The move reverses President Obama’s landmark decision last May to order public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House to call on Trump to protect transgender students. Participants included Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Rights.
Mara Keisling: “The worst-case scenario is what is already happening. Children all over the country are scared by this man. They are really worried that they’re going to go to school tomorrow, they’re going to be bullied. These are kids who have to go to school all the time worried about being bullied by other kids, being bullied sometimes even by educators. And now they have to worry about the attorney general of the United States and the president of the United States bullying them? It’s just not OK.”
According to press accounts, there was initially a fight over the issue in the Oval Office between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The New York Times reports DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students. The president sided with Sessions and pushed DeVos to drop her opposition, which she did.