After President Trump’s administration announced its intention to reverse landmark guidance regarding the accommodation of transgender students in America’s government-funded schools, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today stated:

“All students have a right to a public education that is free from discrimination.  The Departments of Justice and Education are charged with protecting and defending that right.  Tragically, the Trump Administration has decided to abdicate its duty to protect the rights of transgender students in our schools.”

Senator Reed, who is a cosponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination against students in any federally-assisted education program, also noted that the courts will have a say in the matter.  He added:

“Rhode Island’s law and policies protect LGBT individuals from discrimination.  But a child’s right to grow up free from harassment and unequal treatment shouldn’t depend on the state that child is from.  The Trump Administration’s rescission of these protections is short-sighted, and at odds with our shared values.”

Last year, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) issued statewide guidance on school policies to accommodate transgender and gender nonconforming students.  This guidance, while not mandatory, affirmed that transgender students are entitled to use the bathroom, locker room, and changing facility of the gender with which the student identifies.  RIDE has affirmed that the Administration’s rescission does nothing to change RIDE’s policy, and that it will continue.