U.S. Jewish Groups Slam Trump's Rollback of Transgender Students Rights

The National Council of Jewish Women says it's 'disgusted by this betrayal' after Trump scraps measures allowing trans students to use bathrooms based on their gender identity.

Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, near the White House in Washington, U.S. February 22, 2017.
JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

A number of U.S. Jewish groups have come out against the Trump administration's decision to rescind Obama-era guidelines on the rights of transgender students in schools across the country. On Wednesday, Trump scrapped measures allowing transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms and other school facilities based on their gender identity. 

The decision drew a sharp rebuke from the National Council of Jewish Women, which said it was "disgusted by this betrayal" and warned that the decision "puts transgender students at risk for bullying, harassment, and violence." The organization added that "transgender students, like all students, deserve safe and nurturing environments in which to learn and grow." 

The Jewish Reform Movement also condemned the decision in an official statement. “The book of Genesis teaches us that all human beings are created in the Divine image – a status certainly shared by transgender men, women, and children, males created in female bodies and females created in male bodies,” the statement read. The document continued by stating that "this matter is personal for Reform Jews. Our congregations proudly embrace transgender men, women, and youth among our members. Some of our rabbis are transgender. Many children in our congregations and communities, including children of our rabbis, are transgender."

On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League strongly denounced the measure, describing it as "cruel, tinged with prejudice and unnecessary" in an official statement.

"This action sends a deeply disturbing message that the federal government is abdicating its responsibility for a student’s health and well-being and deferring to states and local school districts in establishing educational policy," ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said.