NYT: Sessions And DeVos Clashed Over Protections For Transgender Students

February 22, 2017 12:29 pm

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos clashed over a draft executive order regarding protections for transgender students in public schools, according to a report published Wednesday by the New York Times.

The order would rescind guidelines by President Barack Obama’s administration on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students, according to the Times. Under the Obama administration’s guidance, transgender students can use restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.

DeVos told President Donald Trump that she was uncomfortable with the order, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions cited in the report.

According to the New York Times, Sessions pressed DeVos to sign off on the order, since he couldn’t move forward without her consent. After Trump sided with Sessions, the Republican sources said, DeVos caved.

DeVos asked for the order to contain language stipulating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, according to an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the process cited in the report.

“Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment,” reads a draft of the letter quoted by the New York Times.

The Education Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment by TPM, and the Justice Department declined to comment.

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