Democrats Blast DeVos for ‘Shameful’ Backpedaling on Protections for Transgender Students

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Photo: Reuters

Several Senate Democrats are demanding that Betsy DeVos explain how the Department of Education will protect transgender students following a decision last month to revoke a guidance to schools put into effect under former President Barack Obama.

In a letter to the Education Secretary, Democratic members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee showcased the Trump administration’s decision as being “disturbing” and “shameful.”

The letter stated,

“All students – no matter their race, religion, disability, country of origin, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity – deserve to have their civil rights vigorously enforced and access to education free from discrimination fiercely protected.”

The senators behind the letter also set a deadline of March 24 for DeVos to submit answers to the committee’s questions about her perception of federal civil rights law, as well as how her department views its responsibility to protect students at schools across the country.

Last month, the Trump administration revoked a set of Title IX protections put in place by Obama. These protections allowed transgender students to use restrooms and other gendered facilities that correspond with their gender identities. Both the Justice and Education departments have claimed that these decisions should be left up to the states, rather than dictated from the federal government.

Among the senators to sign the letter were Elizabeth Warren, Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Sheldon White house, Maggie Hassan, and Al Franken.

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