Trump Revokes Title IX Protections


Under new leadership of President Donald Trump, changes in legislations involving the transgender community have been in the works.
President Trump and his administration have withdrawn federal protection for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 which states schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status according to a release by the Department of Justice dated May 13. Title IX allowed transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponded to their gender identity in government funded buildings and treated the student gender identity as the students’ sex.
These protections were withdrawn on Feb. 22, shortly after President Trump took office, through a letter authored by Sandra Battle, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights with the United States Department of Education and T.E. Wheeler, II, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights with the United States Department of Justice.
In the state of Minnesota, legislation regarding the rights of citizens who identify as transgender have been introduced by Minnesota House Republicans including MN House Bill 41 which was introduced Jan. 5.
This bill states “a public school student restroom, locker room, changing room, and shower room that is designated for the exclusive use of one sex shall be used only by members of that sex.” House Bill 41 states that sex is identified at birth and only corresponds to a person’s chromosomes and not their gender identity; however, schools are allowed to provide facilities for these individuals at their discretion.
Despite the introduction of House Bill 41, Minnesota has given its transgender citizens many of the same freedoms and protections granted to the cisgender, or someone whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex, population.
State residents who identify as trans-gender are able to change the gender on their driver’s license and birth certificates, and legislation has been passed prohibiting unfair discriminatory practices on the basis of sexual orientation. While their rights are protected, usage of bathrooms is still a complicated issue.

In Albert Lea High School, there are bathrooms designed for usage by transgender identifying students. These bathrooms are located in the E-House where one of the staff bathrooms previously resided and in the upper locker bay. These bathrooms are not mandatory but ALHS has decided to provide them. There are also private bathrooms available in the guidance office accessible for parents and staff.
Unisex locker rooms, showers and changing rooms are not available, therefore requiring students to use facilities which match their biological sex.
The bathrooms provided by ALHS resemble family bathrooms and will be accessible to any students, staff or visitors in the school. These bathrooms are not specified as transgender bathrooms but can be used as such.
The private bathrooms were originally created to help students and staff with medical issues and as a convenience for community members who are visiting the school. They are exactly the same as the previous staff bathrooms, except for usage.
“The district has addressed our signage for bathrooms for clarity and increased access for students and staff.  “We have done this a number of times over my 30 years at [Albert Lea Area Schools] to meet the needs of students and staff. I know as a district we have made special rooms, most recently, that are available for our breast-feeding mothers available on site.” said Director of Secondary Programs and District Assessment Coordinator Kathy Niebuhr.
Throughout the years transgender bathrooms have been a debate for many organizations. Some individuals believe allowing these bathrooms could result in sexual abuse for either party; according to The Office For Victims Of Crime 50% of transgender  people have reported violence in bathrooms,1 in 6 boys and 1 in 3 girls have reported some kind of abuse.
As of now, changes in legislation will not have much of a change at ALHS with the alternative restrooms already in place.