American Family Association Applauds President Trump’s Rollback of School Bathroom Directive
TUPELO, Miss.—The American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) is applauding President Donald Trump today after he revoked federal guidelines that would have allowed public school students to use restrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identity rather than their biological gender, according to Fox News.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the issue is best resolved at the state and local level so “school, communities and families can find … solutions that protect all students.”
Just two days ago, AFA asked its more than one million friends and supporters in an Action Alert to send an email to the Trump administration, urging leaders to revoke the directive. Concerned Americans sent about 68,000 emails to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice and to DeVos at the Department of Education.
“During the campaign, Vice President Mike Pence said both he and President Trump believe ‘the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level,’” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Mr. Pence also said that ‘Washington has no business intruding in our local schools. Indeed, education is a matter that the U.S. Constitution leaves for each state to decide.’ AFA couldn’t agree more, and we are encouraged by the recent actions of the Trump administration.”
According to the Alert, the revocation of the Obama administration’s bathroom directive could also prompt the Supreme Court to send a transgender case back to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration. The 4th Circuit ruled against a Virginia school district’s right to set bathroom policy, and instead ruled in favor of a biological female who demanded access to the boys’ bathroom and locker room.
“Public schools across America used this directive as an opportunity to expand the liberal education agenda to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity,” Wildmon continued. “We must stand up now to protect the privacy of our children.”
In the Action Alert, AFA provided a sample message that read:
I am opposed to the joint-guidance letter on transgender students from the Obama administration’s Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education on March 13, 2016.
I ask that your department, with great urgency, affirmatively revoke this guidance letter.
The purpose of this joint-guidance letter was to inform public schools of new guidelines on gender identity and directed schools to allow boys who think they are girls into girls’ restrooms and locker rooms. The letter also stated public schools were obligated to implement these guidelines to ensure they ‘are complying with their legal obligations’ to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Failure to comply with the guidelines results in the forfeiture of federal funds under Title IX.
This was an attempt by the department to amend Title IX, which only Congress has the authority to do.
The terms ‘gender,’ ‘gender identity’ and ‘transgender’ do not appear anywhere in Title IX or its implementing rules. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. According to Title IX, requiring public school students to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their biology is not prohibited. The valid legal means to amend Title IX is congressional. It is wholly improper to use the executive branch or the courts to amend legislation.
Again, I ask that your department, with great urgency, affirmatively revoke this guidance letter.
In a similar vein, AFA has remained steady in its #BoycottTarget efforts, calling on the retailer to keep women and children safe by changing its controversial and ill-advised restroom and fitting room policy. Thus far, nearly 1.5 million have signed the AFA petition since this past April, stating they will not shop at Target.
AFA will again hand-deliver pledge signatures to Target headquarters once the number hits the 1.5 million mark, which is well within reach. As of today, AFA’s #BoycottTarget pledge sits at more than 1.456 million. In May, AFA delivered the first million pledges to Minneapolis.
Despite many frightening instances, Target has not budged on its policy, other than to state that family restrooms would be installed into stores not already equipped with them. But women’s restrooms and fitting rooms at Target still have an open door to potential predators, putting women and children at risk.
To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 610-584-1096, ext. 102, 215.815.7716.