Despite the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would rescind protections for transgender youth in schools, Massachusetts officials said there won’t be any changes.
Transgender students are granted the right to use whichever bathroom or locker room corresponds with their gender identity under Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. Wednesday's announcement of a federal rollback of guidelines on how to apply Title IX won’t affect that, according to a spokeswoman for Gov. Charlie Baker.
Title IX bans sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools.
“Under existing state regulations and an expanded statute preventing discrimination on the basis of gender identity that was signed into law by Governor Baker last year, protections for schools and families will remain in place for the Commonwealth.” said Lizzy Guyton, the governor's communications director.
Wednesday's move reverses protections issued under former President Barack Obama.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump believes such decisions about transgender students should be made at the state level.
"All you have to do is look at what the president's view has been for a long time, that this is not something that the federal government should be involved in, that this is a states' rights issue," he said.
On Thursday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh pledged inclusiveness in city schools and denounced Trump’s move.
“The Trump administration's reckless actions last night undermine the promise of civil rights and equal protection for all in this country," he said in a statement. "Revoking the clarified protections for transgender students sends a message that they are not worthy of this promise.”
Boston Public Schools strive to create a culture of safety and respect, Superintendent Tommy Chang said.
"While the federal government has rescinded its guidance protecting transgender students in our nation's schools, transgender and gender nonconforming students in the Boston Public Schools will remain protected from discrimination, bullying and harassment," he said.
State Attorney General Maura Healey worried the move could encourage harrassment of transgender students.
“Every student deserves to be treated equally in our schools, and this decision sends a message that discrimination is acceptable,” she said in a statement.
Massachusetts protections of transgender students predate even the Obama clarification. A 2012 statute gave all students “access to the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.”
In July, the legislature passed an anti-discrimination bill barring discriminatory bathroom policies in any public places.