(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today Congressman Jamie Raskin joined 44 House colleagues in calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reinstate protections for transgender students.
The letter follows an admission from DeVos that she knew transgender students would be put at risk when she rolled back Obama-era guidance designed to protect them. DeVos made the admission when Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Chair of the Education Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services, questioned her during an Education & Labor hearing.
The Members expressed deep concern about DeVos’ answers during the hearing. They noted that a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that transgender students are subjected to considerably higher rates of victimization and attempted suicide than cisgender students.
“As the U.S. Secretary of Education, your job is to protect the rights of all students,” the Members wrote. “In light of your admission that you are aware of the ongoing discrimination of transgender youth, we urge you to commit to using Title IX to protect these students. Specifically, we respectfully request that the Department reinstate the May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students.”
The letter continues: “The Department must do all it can to make sure that all schools create safe environments where students can learn free from harassment and discrimination. Students and families need and deserve to know that they can count on you and the Department to protect their civil rights.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.