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GLSEN, Mother of Trans Teen on Title IX
GLSEN, Mother of Trans Student Lost to Suicide and Advocate for Title IX Guidance Release Statement
NEW YORK (February 22, 2017) – According to a draft letter obtained by the Washington Post, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice plan to rescind the Title IX guidance issued by the Obama Administration for accommodating transgender students in K-12 schools. Recent media reports indicate that there is disagreement in the White House over the decision to rescind this guidance.
Katharine Prescott, who lost her transgender son Kyler to suicide after he faced discrimination at his school, was a key advocate for the guidance issued by the Obama administration. She issued the following statement:
“After losing my son, I was compelled to help prevent this from happening to any other parent in any way possible. I was gratified to work with the Obama administration to ensure that this life-saving guidance was issued to help schools do the right thing by transgender students. Kyler’s story made a difference. Kyler was victimized daily by teachers, administrators, and peers who did not understand his gender identity and by a school that did not do what was needed to protect him. I pulled him out of the traditional classroom and put him in independent study. I could support and protect him at home, but not in school. I would welcome the chance to share my story with Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions to help them understand the real-life implications of reversing the Title IX guidance for protecting transgender students.”
GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement:
"While the Trump Administration may abandon transgender students, GLSEN never will. This guidance was developed and issued to support transgender students because the reality is that they are far more likely to face severe violence and discrimination at school than their peers, placing them at greatly increased risk of suicide and self-harm as a result. When students are allowed to be themselves, they thrive. This guidance changes and saves lives and hurts no one. It should not be withdrawn.”
GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.