Nondiscrimination laws: Trump revises Obama-era policies

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President Trump’s administration reversed policies allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity. Now, it is up to school districts in the Lansing area to decide whether discrimination laws apply to their students.

We have been successful with working with individual students and their families to find solutions that make them feel safe and supported,” said Dewitt Schools Superintendent John B. Deiter.

Williamston High School has also been successful in working with transgender students, according to Assistant Principal Mike Freeman.

“There have been no problems with bathroom issues at our school,” Freeman said.

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MSU professor Geraldine Zeldes said the university has an interest to provide more private bathrooms for transgender students.

The LGBTRC community at MSU provides a map of gender neutral restrooms on campus. You can view the map here: MSU Gender Campus Restroom Map.

“There are students on this campus who have to take their classes based on whether there is an alt-gender bathroom in their building,” said Zeldes.

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, originally opposed the administration’s directive. The president demonstrated his executive power by overlooking his secretary’s viewpoint and continuing forward with the decision.

I would have preferred the president stayed silent on the issue until it played out in the court system,” Deiter said.

Transgender students are protected under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs.

The Supreme Court is set to have the first test of Title IX relating to transgender students. The court will examine the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student from Virginia who wants to use the bathroom of his gender identity.

Grimm was fighting a school board policy denying him from using the boys’ bathroom. A federal appeals court ruled in favor of Grimm, citing Obama’s interpretation of anti-discrimination laws.

Last summer, however, the Supreme Court decided to review the federal appeals court ruling, after an appeal from the Gloucester County School Board.

Arguments for the case scheduled to begin March 28.

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