Parents, LGBT community react after Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance


It’s a hot topic in the headlines right now - the rights of transgender students.

On Wednesday the Trump administration lifted federal guidance on transgender bathroom use.

Basic Rights Oregon held a press conference with members of the LGBT community to discuss their concern now that President Trump has lifted those federal guidelines.

There has been a lot of speculation that the government will take back the directive that was put in place under President Obama last May - and on Wednesday that did take place.

Under Obama's directive, schools were required to let transgender children use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, not necessarily the one on their birth certificate.

With Title IX and under Oregon law, there is a lot protection already in place for LGBT students in the state. But many think President Trump’s decision could be taking a step backwards for other parts of the country.

Fox 12 spoke with a local mother of a transgender 3rd grade student, who is worried what the Trump administration could do for transgender student rights nationwide.

“What kind of message does this send to our kids? As parents and administrators, and public officials, we are the people who need to send the message of love and acceptance for all kids, including transgender kids, including my transgender daughter,” said Joy Stoelting, mother of a transgender third grade student.

Mat dos Santos, with the ACLU of Oregon was also at Wednesday’s press conference.

“What the Trump administration is doing here is nothing other than sending a discriminatory message to the transgender community," said dos Santos.

A letter sent to schools nationwide on Wednesday by the Justice and Education Departments says the earlier directive caused confusion and lawsuits over how it should be applied. The new letter says the guidance is lifted, but anti-bullying safeguards will not be affected.

Meantime, the White House says President Trump believes the issue is for the states to decide, without federal involvement.

“The president, as I said yesterday, is a firm believer in state's rights. The Department of Education, the Department of Justice, both who jointly issued that guidance back during the Obama Administration, are now working together again under a Trump Administration. They have been reviewing the guidance that was signed, that basis by which it was put through, and I think there have been several areas on concern, both legal and procedural, that they have been discussing,” says White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee responded to the removal of federal guidance Wednesday night saying in part:"I strongly oppose the Trump Administration's reversal of federal protection for transgender students. Washington state will continue to be a place where all children can feel safe from discrimination, harassment or assault based on their gender identity. Our state's law, the Anderson-Murray Act, passed in 2006, will remain in place and is unchanged by the new federal guidance."Again, this is a guidance, not a law that the administration is discussing.

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