Philly Protects Trans Kids
As the country reels over President Trump revoking guidelines submitted to public schools by President Obama to allow transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice, Philadelphia’s students remain calm and assured.
Mayor Kenney and several other city officials have made it a point to help Philadelphia’s trans students feel safe and secure in their schools.
“Every student deserves to know their rights will be recognized and upheld at school,” - Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent, The School District of Philadelphia.
The city says it will maintain its policy to allow students in public schools use the bathroom that most represented their gender identity.
According to Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the statement from the Department of Education and Department of Justice send the power back to states to make that decision, and Philadelphia is harnessing that power.
But overall, the city’s reaction to the Trump administration’s actions is one of resistance and confusion,"This act shows a lack of compassion and understanding for millions of young people around the country who are simply trying to be themselves. It also sends a cruel and harmful message that puts transgender students’ well-being and safety at risk,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
"All students, including transgender youth, should have an equal opportunity at school to succeed in their education. The City of Philadelphia will continue to stand with transgender students even if the Federal government refuses to.”
Last May, Obama instructed public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity, and many people in the LGBT community applauded that. But in fact, these protections have been in place in Philadelphia since 2002, “when gender identity was added to the FPO. We want all students in Philadelphia to know that they are still protected,” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
But other leaders in the community are determined to continue the fight, “Just as bigots and racists feel empowered, we must be empowered to stand up for not only our rights but our children’s rights and their very lives. Today I would encourage transgender students to report any violations to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations,” said Deja Lynn Alvarez, a member of the Mayor’s Commision on LGBT Affairs.