Broward and Miami-Dade School Boards will continue to include gender identity in protections.
Wednesday the Trump administration announced its decision to rescind Title IX protections against discrimination for transgender students in public schools. Previous Title IX guidelines, issued by the Obama administration, included gender identity as a protected status. The Trump administration decision is drawing criticism from civil rights activists, and some members of the Republican Party.
“This lamentable decision can lead to hostile treatment of transgender students and studies have shown that bullying and harassment can be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of teenagers,” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Miami Republican Rep. said in a statement.
Ros-Lehtinen and Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis introduced the Student Non Discrimination Act, prohibiting schools from discriminating against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in 2015. Ros-Lehtinen, her husband Dexter Lehtinen, a former U.S. attorney, and their transgender son Rodrigo launched a bilingual campaign for transgender rights, “Family is Everything,” with LGBT rights group SAVE Miami in May 2016. Rodrigo, 30 came out as transgender while in college.
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Broward County public schools do allow students to use public accommodations corresponding to a student's gender identity. Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie said the school board will continue to uphold this policy, in a briefing on Thursday. “We have a moral obligation and a responsibility to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment,” Runcie said.
Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez made similar statements, the Miami Herald reports, saying the county would continue with protections in place since 2014. “We are an inclusive community, and have policies in place to protect our LGBT residents.”