The Trevor Project’s Abbe Land and Alison Gill Respond
Los Angeles, CA (April 29, 2014) – Around the nation, organizations working to protect transgender youth from discrimination celebrate today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), clarifying that Title IX prohibitions against harassment and discrimination protect transgender and gender non-conforming students. The move follows significant efforts by The Trevor Project, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSEN, and others, who, along with a bipartisan statement of Congressional support spearheaded by the Hon. Jackie Speier (CA-14), urged OCR to make this clarification.
“The Trevor Project praises the work of the Department of Education in clarifying that Title IX protects transgender and gender non-conforming students. Too often, transgender youth are ignored or made invisible in schools, but there are countless students who identify as transgender in our pre-K through postsecondary schools. Those of us who work closely with these youth know that they are vulnerable to high rates of discrimination and victimization, which can lead to dangerous outcomes,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.
Of the more than 700 transgender students in grades 6 through 12 who responded to GLSEN’s 2011 School Climate Survey, 80% reported feeling unsafe at school, 75.4% reported being verbally harassed, and 16.8% reported being physically assaulted. At least one other study found that nearly half of young transgender people have seriously considered taking their lives, and about 1 in 4 have made a suicide attempt.
“We, at The Trevor Project feel that the guidance issued by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, today is a vitally important step to ensuring transgender students can fully participate in school, safely and equally. We look forward to further clarification of these rights to ensure that transgender youth are fully protected in schools.” said Alison Gill, Government Affairs Director. “Studies consistently show that when transgender youth do not feel safe or experience discrimination at school, their school success suffers, affecting educational aspirations, academic achievement, self-esteem, their sense of belonging in school, and increasing rates of absenteeism and depression.
Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.