Trump Rescinds Bathroom Protections for Transgender Students

Story by Erin Maxwell, Assistant Features Editor

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President Donald Trump’s decision to repeal Obama’s protection of transgender student’s bathroom rights garnered criticism from many San Dieguito Academy students, but Principal Bjorn Paige said the decision will not affect SDA.

Former President Barrack Obama’s directive, while not a law, had stated his administration’s view that the country’s nondiscrimination laws should protect transgender students’ choices. However, Trump repealed this directive with the argument that states and individual schools should have the ability to decide on their policy regarding this issue.

California responded quickly, clearly showing the state’s commitment to protecting transgender rights. The California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, issued a statement that California transgender students will continue to have their rights protected. This follows California’s progressive tendencies of the past, such as Governor Jerry Brown’s recent bill that requires all businesses to make single-stall restrooms gender neutral by March 1 of this year.

Most San Dieguito Academy students didn’t seem to be concerned that this will affect SDA, partially because of California’s progressivism and partially because SDA is a very liberal school, they said. However, many were angry at Trump’s decision, and said it was a violation of transgender rights.

Junior Jakob Becker said “I’m personally absolutely against his policy…I think you should be able to pee wherever you want to pee.” One of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club leaders, who requested to remain anonymous, said, “I don’t think this will affect our school specifically, but to trans individuals it obviously affects them.” Senior Kim Quach said, “I’m really not worried about our school but I am worried for other parts of our nation.”

Paige said in an interview that SDA will not be affected by Trump’s decision, as the California Education Code specifically protects transgender student’s rights to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. Additionally, he said SDA plans to include another single-stall, gender neutral bathroom in the new building.
“I think that independent of anything that Trump said or Obama said or any future president says, we’re going to do the right thing here,” Paige said.

The GSA leader said, “We are very lucky to live in not only an accepting town and school, but California is a very accepting state in general and I think it’s important that we just continue to respect one another and make sure to protect all trans lives to the best of our abilities.”

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