CSCU president responds to rollback of transgender protections - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CSCU president responds to rollback of transgender protections

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(CSCU photo) (CSCU photo)

The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System has responded to a rollback of transgender school requirements.

President Mark Ojakian sent a letter to the schools in his system saying it's fortunate that their campuses are located in an inclusive state.

"Fortunately, we live in a state with a history of implementing inclusive policies and one that is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all students and their families," Ojakian wrote.

He cited the General Assembly's 2011 bill in which transgender students have their civil rights protected in Connecticut, despite orders from Washington.

Wednesday, President Donald Trump's Administration "corrected a legal overreach" by the Obama administration.

It essentially made it up to each individual state to decide if a student's gender identity is protected in schools.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that he signed an executive order "ensuring that the rights of transgender students receiving an education continue uninterrupted."

“Discrimination, harassment, and bullying have no place in our classrooms or at our schools. Despite the actions taken by the federal government yesterday, the State of Connecticut remains committed to ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality education in a safe, supportive and welcoming school environment,” Malloy said in a press release. “Every child, no matter their gender identity or expression, should be treated equally and fairly in a safe, supportive environment. Connecticut will remain a state of inclusiveness because we strongly believe that diversity makes us stronger.”

The bill clarifies that bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and higher education establishments are "places of public accommodation under existing state anti-discrimination laws."

"Having a diverse community enriches our schools, aligns with our history and enhances the vitality of our state, and transgendered students must be a part of that community, "Ojakian said. "We will continue to make sure that all of our students feel valued, visible, protected, and empowered to pursue their education."

He asked the other schools to continue to support transgender students across all of the CSCU campuses.

The CSCU is comprised of Connecticut's four state universities and all of its community colleges.

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