President Donald Trump has started off his administration with a flurry of activity. Recently, he announced changes to the transgender bathroom directives that were implemented by the Obama Administration. These controversial directives set off an intense debate around the country about the rights of transgender students. The newly appointed Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, is reportedly at odds with President Trump’s decision to overturn the Obama Administrations directives.
Initially, Obama’s directives instructed the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate school districts that did not allow students to use the bathroom of their choice based upon their self identified gender. The school districts were threatened with the loss of federal funding if the did not comply with the Obama Administration’s directives. Many people considered these directives to be a major overreach of federal power and an intrusion on the rights of states to govern their own schools.
The Obama transgender bathroom directives were immediately challenged in federal court. A federal in Texas has already put a hold on the Obama directives after 13 states joined together to file a lawsuit opposing the guidelines. Currently, a case concerning transgender bathroom issues is on the docket of the U.S Supreme Court. Betsy Devos acknowledged that President Trump’s actions were motivated by this pending Supreme Court case.
I can understand why so many people are outraged at the thought of allowing boys to share school bathrooms and showers with their daughters simply because a boy self identifies himself as a girl. This policy of forcing schools to let gender self identified students use the restroom of their choice is ripe for abuse. What about a situation where boys claim that they feel like the are girls simply as a prank to see naked female students? This type of situation and a great many other unintended consequences of Obama’s transgender bathroom directives place local school districts in a legally vulnerable situation.
Betsy Devos understands peoples’ concern about letting boys use the female showers and bathrooms in schools. Ms. Devo’s opposition to President Trump on this issue is more focused on protecting transgender students from bullying and abuse than on letting them use whatever bathroom they choose. Betsy Devos felt that the president was simply moving too fast and might forget to leave some basic protection for transgender students in place. Betsy Devos is deeply committed to protecting the rights of these vulnerable transgender students.
Betsy Devos is the daughter of the billionaire industrialist, Edgar Prince. She is married to Dick Devos, who is the former CEO of the multi-level marketing giant, Amway. Betsy is chairwoman of Windquest group, which she founded with her husband in 1989. She also worked with her husband in producing several Broadway shows. Betsy Devos has devoted much of her life to philanthropy. Her charitable activities include establishing the Prince Foundation and the Dick and Betsy Devos Foundation. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
Follow Betsy on twitter.com.