Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Oppressing Transgender Students Is An Attack On Public Education

Why Oppressing Transgender Students Is An Attack On Public Education:

Why Oppressing Transgender Students Is An Attack On Public Education

It didn’t take long for conservatives to turn their attack on the rights of transgender students into an attack on another favorite target of theirs: public schools.
In the pages of the conservative journal National Review, the latest screed declares, “The Obama administration just destroyed the traditional American public school.”
First, it’s not hard to miss the dog whistle language in this piece, primarily, using “traditional” as a code word for white, straight and Christian and posing as a victim while arguing for “the right” to discriminate against a vulnerable minority.
Nevertheless, the target of conservative ire is the recent joint announcement from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education that public schools must allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
As an article in Education Week explains, “Amid an escalating legal battle with the state of North Carolina that has thrust that state’s schools into the center of a fight over transgender rights, the letter to the nation’s roughly 14,000 school districts made clear the administration’s position that restricting transgender students’ access to restrooms and locker rooms is discriminatory and could put federal funding at risk.”
Conservative politicians and overly cautious intellectuals are accusing the Obama administration of “overreach” and “being too hasty” in issuing this directive. But many public schools had already been steadily working at ways to accommodate transgender students well before North Carolina started its attack on transgender rights and conservatives around the country gleefully piled on.
Obama’s directive, rather than sparking a new firestorm, merely reinforces what traditional (for real) public schools are meant to ensure all along. And that’s what conservatives hate most.
What Schools Are Already Doing
“Many schools already accommodate transgender students,” another Education Week article reports.
As Evie Blad explains, the furious response to the Obama administration’s guidance on treatment of transgender students “made it seem as if the directions came with no warning or precedent … But followers of school law and transgender student advocacy will tell you that the federal agency already enforced this interpretation in the past and that many schools were already making such accommodations.”
Blad spotlights 14 states with nondiscrimination laws and policies that include gender identity. But numerous local districts and local school districts have also acted to ensure Why Oppressing Transgender Students Is An Attack On Public Education:

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