ADL Criticizes Federal Action Rescinding Guidance on Transgender Students as “Cruel, Tinged with Prejudice and Unnecessary”

New York, NY, February 23, 2017….  The Anti-Defamation League today harshly criticized the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of federal Title IX guidance supporting transgender students, calling the action “cruel, tinged with prejudice and unnecessary.”

As part of its longstanding mission of fighting bigotry and discrimination, ADL has supported federal protections to stop the harassment and bullying of transgender and gender non-conforming students.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

The action by the Departments of Education and Justice to withdraw support for their May 2016 guidance on federal protection for transgender students is cruel, tinged with prejudice and unnecessary. All students should be treated equally and consistent with their gender identity.

This action sends a deeply disturbing message that the federal government is abdicating its responsibility for a student’s health and well-being and deferring to states and local school districts in establishing educational policy. It also suggests the administration will not support or defend LGBT-inclusive policies.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has offered assurances that 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.”  But the action still threatens to confuse schools and districts on their continuing legal obligations to respect and protect all students.

The League will sign on to a brief in support of a transgender student in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., a challenge to a discriminatory school board bathroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers.  That case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.