For Immediate Release: 
February 22, 2017
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Attacking transgender students' rights is unconscionable

Washington, D.C. – Councilmember David Grosso released the following statement on a letter issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice reversing guidance issued by the Obama administration to protect transgender students:

“I’m dismayed that the first significant education policy to come out of the Trump White House attacks the right of children to learn in a welcoming and supportive environment. The rescinding of an Obama administration guidance intended to provide equitable access to education is unconscionable. The actions of adults do not go unnoticed by students and this sends a dangerous signal that leaders are not looking out for the best interest of the most vulnerable.

“To the transgender students at D.C. public and charter schools, please know that you are loved and that the city stands with you. The laws of the District of Columbia and federal civil rights laws still protect your right to be your true self without fear of discrimination.  This letter from the Trump administration cannot change that.

“I’m not surprised that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would authorize this letter.  Throughout her confirmation, she demonstrated a lack of policy understanding and a track record of undermining public education. She used her first week in office as an opportunity to question the dedication of D.C. teachers.  And now this.

“I’m even more disappointed that a former mayor of this city, Tony Williams, endorsed her for this position. I again repeat my call that Mayor Bowser stand with our transgender students, our teachers, and our public education system and remove Mayor Williams from the Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force.

“As chairperson of the Council’s Education Committee, I will continue to fight for the human rights of every student in the District of Columbia so that they may focus on succeeding in their educational pursuits.”