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Betsy DeVos Knew Transgender Students Would Be Harmed Because Of Her Policies, She Says

April 10, 2019
In The News

During a House Committee on Education and Labor hearing on Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos shared an admission that seemed to startle some members of Congress. While testifying, DeVos said when she rolled back transgender student protection guidance in 2017, that she was aware that discrimination and harassment could have an adverse impact on student performance and mental health.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici broached the subject, asking the education secretary if she was aware of the adverse effects that harassment and discrimination can have on transgender students, according to video footage of the hearing that circulated online. DeVos initially attempted to sidestep it.

“I would really like an answer," Bonamici said, according to video footage. She posed her question a second time: "Students and families need to know this… Did you know when you rolled back the guidance that the stress of harassment and discrimination can lead to lower attendance and grades, as well as depression for transgender students? Did you know that when you rolled back the guidance?"

"I do know that," DeVos responded. "But I will say again that [the Office of Civil Rights] is committed to ensuring that all students are — have access to their education, free from discrimination."

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