Washington—Following the joint guidance released today by the departments of Education and Justice on extended protections for transgender students in American public schools, AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement:
“I applaud the departments of Education and Justice for taking action to ensure transgender students feel safe in school. This step forward is vital, not just for our most vulnerable students but for the entire school community.
“America is at its best when we are inclusive. Recognizing that a person’s gender identity should be respected is a move every American should be proud of.
“As a union, the AFT has a long history of fighting discrimination, including requiring locals to desegregate in the 1950s and filing an amicus brief in support of Brown v. Board of Education. This fight continues today with our efforts to fight for LGBTQ-inclusive union contracts, signing on to the LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights, and working for full and equal access to facilities for transgender students.
“As a gay woman, the fight to change laws and attitudes is also quite personal. It has given me great hope about America, as centuries of discrimination against gay people have given way in the last few years to widespread legal and societal acceptance and rights. This is why I was proud to join Delaware Gov. Jack Markell yesterday in a broader fight against transgender discrimination and in applauding today’s move by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice.”
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten