The New Jersey (Mis)Education Association (NJEA) lashed out at President Donald Trump on Thursday, Save Jerseyans, criticizing his young administration’s decision to reverse Obama-era regulations (couched in the form of “guidance”) relating to transgender bathroom use in America’s schools.
Local districts will now make their own decisions as to how to accommodate transgender students.
NJEA leaders insisted that local control is necessarily an affront to civil rights.
“The Trump Administration’s effort to turn back the clock and to weaken important civil rights protections for students sends a very dangerous message,” NJEA officers President Wendell Steinhauer, Vice President Marie Blistan and Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller said in a joint statement. “Students who rely on those protections are more vulnerable to discrimination because of the administration’s regressive action.”
President Obama’s directive had instructed school districts that “Title IX’s implementing regulations permit a school to provide sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, and athletic teams, as well as single-sex classes under certain circumstances. When a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity.”
In its own statement, the White House adopted a very different perspective, asserting that “returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators.”
It’s unclear whether the Trump Administration’s move will convince any New Jersey school districts to change their current policies.
It’s also unclear whether the NJEA will begin devoting half the energy it does to transgender bathroom rights and partisan electioneering to the thousands of kids trapped in failing New Jersey public schools.