An organization of LGBT military families protested Friday after a transgender kid in the 5th grade was denied access to the girls’ restroom at a school on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany.
The American Military Partner Association, the U.S.’s largest group of LGBT military families, said the Department of Defense Education Activity is discriminating against a male-to-female transgender student at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, NBC News reports. Apparently a DOD official stepped in and reversed the decision of the school’s principal to allow Blue, the transgender child, access to the female restroom.
According to AMPA, DODEA District Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Dunham is responsible for prohibiting a transgender student access to the girls’ restroom. For AMPA, this prohibition violates guidance issued by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, namely that kids be allowed to use the bathroom associated with their chosen gender identity.
“This superintendent’s decision to violate the civil rights of this transgender student is alarming,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack in a statement. “All students, regardless of their gender identity, deserve to be able to go to school in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. The Department of Defense school system is currently observing October as National Bullying Prevention Month, yet this superintendent has unacceptably chosen to single out and discriminate against a student because of her gender identity.”
“Transgender youth already face high rates of marginalization, bullying, and harassment, and we urge the Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, Mr. Thomas Brady, to immediately step in and correct this unconscionable decision,” Broadway-Mack added.
The child’s mother, Jess, is furious, telling NBC News that “Blue is the only transgender person on this base required to use a gender-neutral bathroom. “
“I’m furious, absolutely furious,” Jess added. “My blood is boiling, I’m so mad.”
A DOD spokesman further told NBC News in response to a query that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower will make sure the DOE and DOJ’s guidance on this issue is implemented at the school.
The guidance follows the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex, and states that any school receiving federal money cannot discriminate based on transgender status.
This disputed interpretation is now the subject of serious litigation by numerous states.
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