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After a report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a disagreement over removing the protection guidelines President Obama put forth for transgender students, the two came together Wednesday to do just that.

In a statement, Sessions, the former Republican senator, wrote of the DOJ’s duty “to enforce the law.”

“The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance,” Sessions said.

It was reported that Sessions had been strongly for the move before it was officially released Wednesday night, putting him at odds with DeVos.

DeVos had been uncomfortable with removing the transgender student guidelines left by the Obama administration, according to the New York Times.

However, the two departments eventually came together to remove the guidelines after President Trump chose to go with Sessions’ preference.

In her statement, DeVos similarly alluded to “several legal questions” left by the Obama guidelines. She also cited a federal injunction issued last summer that prevented the Education Department from enforcing part of the guidelines.

“Thus there is no immediate impact to students by rescinding this guidance,” she explained.

Sessions said going forward, Congress, state legislatures and local governments “are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue.”

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DeVos echoed those sentiments, calling the issue one “best solved at the state and local level.”

After removal of the Obama-era guidance on Wednesday, public schools are no longer mandated by federal law to allow transgender students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

In a statement, the Human Rights Campaign called the decision “disgraceful.”

“These transgender students simply want to go to school in the morning without fear of discrimination or harassment. The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking. This isn’t a ‘states rights’ issue, it’s a civil rights issue. Children deserve protection from bullying no matter what state they live in. Period,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

A coalition of civil and human rights groups, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said the removal of the guidelines has “sent a deeply troubling message to students that the administration will not stand up for students’ civil rights.”

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Some conservative groups applauded the move as one that will protect families and children.

“Today’s announcement fulfills President Trump’s campaign promise to get the federal government out of the business of dictating school shower and bathroom policies,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement.

“The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children.”

The move marks a turnaround for President Trump who in April said that he supported the right of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.” Candidate Trump even invited Caitlyn Jenner to use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted.



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