On the 22nd of February, Donald Trump issued the executive order equivalent of those bigoted GOP “bathroom bills” targetting transgender students. He revoked the federal guidelines permitting trans students in public schools to use the restroom corrosponding to their gender identities. As he did so, protesters gathered outside the White House to denounce Trump’s potty decree.
One of the keynote speakers outside the White House was no less than Gavin Grimm, the transgender male student at Gloucester High School who had to take his VA school district to court for the right to use the boy’s restrooms at school. At first the principal sided with him, but soon complaints poured into the school mostly on grounds of religious bigotry. A lower court ordered the school district to let him use the boy’s rooms anyway but the school district appealed to the US Supreme Court, where this order was stayed.
At the moment, the Title IX protections for transgender students still exist, but the Federal guidelines on how school districts are supposed to apply Title IX to trans students have been revoked. This implies the Federal government is no longer interested in enforcing the Title IX protections, effectively returning power over where and whether transgender students can use the restroom in school to the states. As for directly altering Title IX itself, Trump still lacks the power to change statutory law by decree.
FAUX News quoted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as saying “This is an issue best solved at the state and local level.” In other words, this is a call for “state’s rights,” the old rallying cry used by the KKK and similar groups to oppose racial integration in school. Now transgender students are being bullied by what amounts to the same people. The Trump administration is tied explicitly by people like strategy chief Steve Bannon to white nationalists, to the racist, neo-Nazi, frog-kissing “alt-right.” As for Betsy Devos, her only qualification for office was contributing huge amounts of money to GOP candidates for office.
The end of the ability to use the toilet without being bullied by opposite-gender students is likely to force many transgender students to abandon school entirely in GOP-dominated areas. The GOP seems to think it will instead force trans students to abandon their gender identity but things simply do NOT work that way.