Governor: NY will protect transgender students

Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) says transgender students will not lose protections in his state despite the Trump administration rescinding guidelines allowing children to use school bathrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identities.

“The misguided action taken by the federal government last night runs contrary to the New York promise of individual freedoms,” Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.

“Today, I am urging the State Education Department to issue a directive to all school districts making it clear that — regardless of Washington’s action — the rights and protections that had been extended to students in New York remain unchanged under state law,” he added.

{mosads}“As the federal government seeks to roll back the progress that we have achieved toward equality, we in New York will never stop fighting to ensure the LGBTQ community and all Americans are afforded the equal protections guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution.”

Cuomo’s statement was released alongside a letter to MaryEllen Elia, the commissioner of the New York State Education Department.

The message instructs Elia to issue a statewide directive “making it clear that transgender students in this State are expressly protected from discrimination.”

Elia and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman later Thursday issued a reminder to New York school districts of their obligation to shield transgender students there.
“Our most sacred duty as parents, educators and leaders of state agencies is to protect all of the children in our care,” Elia said in a statement.
New York law requires all school districts to prohibit discrimination and harassment on school property and functions on the basis of gender identity and expression.

The Trump administration late Wednesday reversed protections for transgender students first instituted under former President Barack Obama.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the former guidelines lacked a solid foundation in preexisting law, specifically Title IX, which prohibits discrimination due to sex.

“Congress, state legislatures and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue,” he said in a statement.

Religious conservatives argue that students should use the bathrooms that match their sex assigned at birth.

LGBT-rights groups and Democrats have countered the former protections shielded transgender students from discrimination.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in her own statement Wednesday her department would work hard at safekeeping all students.

“Schools, communities and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students,” she said, adding the matter is “best solved at the state and local level.”

President Trump reportedly sided with Sessions over DeVos in a dispute over whether the Obama-era guidelines should be reversed.

Tags Barack Obama Jeff Sessions New York Politics schools Students Transgender
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video