NASPA Reacts to Reversal of Support for Transgender Students’ Civil Rights

We are disappointed to hear from the media that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will further rollback transgender student protections outlined under the Obama administration. Department Spokeswoman Liz Hill has confirmed to several media sources that while the harassment or penalization of students for “failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes” remains sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX, the requirements of students to use bathroom or changing facilities corresponding to their sex assigned at birth is not. No official announcement has been made by the ED Office for Civil Rights regarding this announcement.

NASPA continues to stand by our trans colleagues and students. The refusal of the federal government to recognize and protect the rights of trans individuals does not mean our institutions and states cannot step up to the task. Indeed, it is our responsibility as higher education professionals and constituents to urge our institutions and states to do so during times like these. Legislation targeting the rights of trans students is currently under consideration in at least nine states. Student affairs professionals see first-hand the day-to-day lived experiences of our colleagues and students. Sharing their stories is a powerful policy advocacy tool, both in state legislatures and in campus leadership meetings. We encourage our members to continue to support our Association and professional values of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry and work to protect and defend the rights of trans individuals in our communities.