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The Biden administration has issued a hopeful “back-to-school” message for trans students, assuring them federal lawmakers will crack down on discrimination.
The departments of justice, education and health and human services uploaded a joint back-to-school YouTube video aimed at trans youth.
Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ), said many school administrators and educators are working to make schools “safe and welcoming places for all students, including LGBTQI students”.
But she said the Biden administration knows “that’s not the reality for all transgender students”, including perhaps some of the students watching the video.
“In some places, people in positions of authority are putting obstacles that would keep you from playing on the sports field, accessing the bathroom and receiving the supportive and life-saving care you may need,” Clarke said in the video.
She continued: “We’re here to say that’s wrong, and it’s against the law.”
Clarke added that the DOJ and DOE will be investigating complaints about discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. She added that the Biden administration is “looking out” for trans students and is “here to protect your civil rights”.
“Discrimination will not be accepted on our watch,” she continued.
“Right now, we’re are fighting against laws that tried to ban transgender athletes in West Virginia and deny healthcare for transgender young people in Arkansas, and recently federal courts in both states have blocked those laws from being applied.”
Trailblazing trans HHS staffer Dr Rachel Levine even made an appearance in the back-to-school message. She explained it is “critical” to support trans youth and their families to help them “achieve the good health and wellbeing that everyone deserves”.
“Discrimination and bullying have no place in our nation’s schools,” Dr Levine declared. “We all learn better when we are in safe and welcoming environments.”