Defend Transgender-Inclusive Schools

Loretta_Lynch,_official_portrait-USDepartmentofJustice

Target: Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General

Goal: Ensure a strong defense of educational policies protecting the rights of transgender students.

Illinois conservatives are suing the their school district and the departments of education and justice in order to reverse protections for transgender students in the classroom. The plaintiffs allege that providing transgender students gender-congruent facilities discriminates against their own cisgender children. If their suit is successful, the U.S. District Court in Chicago will find the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX, and their school district’s compliance, unconstitutional under both federal and state law. Such a ruling would jeopardize the safety of transgender students across Illinois and the country. As such, it is imperative that the Obama administration commit to defending against this regressive lawsuit.

The effort to strip transgender students of their protections in Illinois is especially galling because the same conservatives who want to relegate transgender students to segregated facilities objected when those same accommodations were offered to their children. The Illinois conservatives contend that their children are ridiculed and stigmatized for using single occupancy stalls to change. That harassment was so extreme that one cisgender child “wears her gym clothes under other clothes to avoid changing for phys ed at all,” according to a Think Progress report. Those same single occupancy facilities are the ones that conservatives want to force transgender students into.

Anyone should have the compassion and perspective to see that inflicting conditions you object to on others is unconscionable. Since Illinois conservatives apparently lack that basic perspective, the government must take action to protect transgender students. Demand a staunch defense of the Department of Education’s trans-inclusive interpretation of Title IX.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Lynch,

Conservatives in Illinois want to strip transgender students of the equal accommodation they enjoy under the current interpretation of Title IX. They claim that providing transgender children access to gender-congruent facilities harms their cisgender children by failing to conform to their flawed understanding of gender. A district spokesperson told The Chicago Sun Times that conservatives’ concerns are unfounded, saying “We have implemented the agreement without any reports of incident or issue.” Moreover, conservatives have rejected efforts by the school district to accommodate their extreme views. The conservatives’ complaint claims that the single occupancy facilities they want to foist on other students are “not a practical option” for their own children.

If the conservatives federal lawsuit is successful, the judge will rule that the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX is unconstitutional under state and federal law alike. That cannot be allowed to happen. The separate facilities that conservatives advocate for transgender students are isolating and stigmatizing. Tell the government to aggressively defend its interpretation of Title IX and the rights of transgender students.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

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