CCSA Responds to Administration Policies Regarding Transgender Students and Immigration

February 24, 2017

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Over the past two days, the Trump Administration has announced new policy changes affecting both transgender students and undocumented immigrants under federal laws.

Yesterday, we saw the Trump Administration withdraw guidance from the Obama Administration protecting transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools from discrimination under Title IX. We are disappointed by this decision since the vast majority of transgender students have reported incidents of harassment and feeling unsafe in school. We appreciate Secretary DeVos' statement reiterating her commitment to protecting all students, including LGBTQ youth, and directing the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to investigate all complaints of discrimination, harassment or bullying in schools.

In California, transgender students will continue to be protected against discrimination in public schools, including charter schools. Based on California-specific law passed before the federal guidance, transgender students will continue to be permitted to participate in programs and activities, and use school facilities consistent with their gender identity. CCSA has been supportive of California's law extending protections to transgender students, and we will continue to be so going forward. For more information on the rights of transgender students in California public schools see this link. Members having additional questions or needing further assistance on the matter may contact us at info@ccsa.org.

Earlier in the week, we were encouraged to see that the Administration preserved the DACA program to protect immigrants brought to the United States as children by their families. However, CCSA is concerned that the expanded enforcement of immigration laws and deportation of undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious crimes will have an adverse impact on many public school communities in California, including those served by charter schools. Many interactions with our member schools confirm that these new policies will inevitably lead to the separation of families as undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children will be among those to be deported under the expanded enforcement activities.

CCSA will continue making available to schools resources for helping to respond to requests for assistance from students and families affected by the expanded immigration enforcement activities, and we are also available to help connect schools to other organizations able to provide even greater assistance as needed. Any school needing assistance along these lines are encouraged to email us at immigrantassistance@ccsa.org or to reach out to any CCSA staff member. In the meantime, we urge U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reassure all public schools serving immigrant families that their students will not be targeted for immigration enforcement at school or school-related activities. We also continue to urge the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including the Bridge Act, to address the uncertainty and fear in immigrant communities.