As presidents of two public community colleges, serving a combined 82,000 students in Maryland and Pennsylvania, we are concerned about news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is drafting policies that eliminate the concept of transgender persons.
It is easy to imagine how transgender students could face circumstances that require some adaptation by colleges that have been traditionally designed for just two genders. The ability of transgender students to attend school and engage in learning may be constrained by institutions that refuse to make such accommodations. It is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Education to protect such students so that they may engage in the learning that will shape their future potential. Transgender students must be considered a protected category in order that any lapses in their access might be reported to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. As President Trump and other members of his administration consider eliminating these protections, we would like to share some insights from our professional and personal experiences…..