WASHINGTON, DC—In the wake of rescinding guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement that said, in part: "At my direction, the Department's Office for Civil Rights remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools."
Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN, and Beth Kohm, Interim Executive Director of PFLAG National, issued the following statement in response:
“Secretary DeVos has caused completely unnecessary fear and confusion among transgender students and their families by rescinding the Department’s guidance, and calling into question whether they will receive the help and support they need from Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Last year OCR received a record number of complaints, including many from trans students and their families.
Those families and students need to know that they have the same rights today under Title IX as they had yesterday. It remains to be seen if OCR will give them the help they need and deserve.
Today, GLSEN and PFLAG join together to re-launch our #ClaimYourRights Campaign, to help anyone affected by or witnessing anti-transgender discrimination in our schools file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. Secretary DeVos clearly needs to better understand the extent of the daily pain and real barriers to wellbeing that the original Departmental guidance was designed to address and eliminate. We must see if her actions will live up to her words, and to the promises made by federal law and the United States Constitution. GLSEN and PFLAG will do everything in our power to see to it that they do.
Originally launched in 2009, the #ClaimYourRights Campaign began a new phase of advocacy and dialogue with the Department of Education that eventually led to the issuance of the clarifying Title IX guidance rescinded yesterday.”
GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research, and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.
PFLAG is the nation’s largest organization uniting families, allies, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy, and has more than 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit pflag.org, like us on Facebook (/pflag), or follow us on Twitter (@pflag).