NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Good news for the Bay State, nothing’s changed in Massachusetts school bathrooms.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday withdrew protections that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity. President Barack Obama put those protections in place across the country, mandating schools to treat transgender kids the way they identify themselves.
President Trump is now letting individual schools and states control this policy. In Massachusetts, transgendered people are protected. Governor Charlie Baker passed a law last July strengthening transgender rights, also allowing transgendered people to use the bathroom or the locker room of their choice according to how they identify themselves.
Attorney James Winston told 22News the president’s decision won’t affect our state law. “I don’t think that what Donald Trump has done is going to directly affect Massachusetts,” said Winston. “In other parts of the country that are more conservative, there definitely could be a rollback of transgender rights.”
The Trump administration said removing this national policy won’t remove protections against discrimination or bullying. Northampton school counselor Celeste Palladino worries it puts these kids at risk. She told 22News, “Having worked with transgender students, they’re very vulnerable students and it’s really important that their rights are upheld.”
Massachusetts schools are not allowed to go against the state law prohibiting transgender discrimination.