NADTA’s Opposition to American Government Administration’s Rescinding of the Federal Guidance to Title IX

For this statement in Spanish, please click HERE.

The North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) is deeply concerned about the erosion of civil rights and the propagation of fear and division that have become more pronounced  in our current political climate.

As an organization that respects the dignity, visibility and equity of its members we are opposed to the U.S.  government’s transphobic decision to rescind federal guidance related to Title IX and its application in ensuring transgender students’ civil rights. The landmark  guidance issued in 2016 summarized over a decade of case law and best practices, advising schools to treat transgender students according to their gender identity, including when it comes to names and pronouns, restrooms, and dress codes.

Our students need to feel safe at school. It is negligent and discriminatory to not ensure that trans and gender nonconforming students can use restrooms consistent with the gender they live everyday.  As adults, we must set a better example for our young people and advocate against transphobia, protect civil rights and promote equity and inclusion of trans and gender-nonconforming people.

Of further concern is the rise in mistrust, discrimination and hate crimes that occurs towards minority groups after discriminatory government policies are adopted. We worry that these policies seem to embolden people to engage in discriminatory actions towards their fellow citizens.

As stated previously in the NADTA Position Statement against Homophobic and Transphobic Laws, we as mental health practitioners are aware of the negative impacts of discrimination on mental health. The cumulative effects of transphobia place trans and gender diverse individuals at higher risk for severe mental health problems. These policies are bad for people’s health, they do not promote inclusion and belonging, they threaten people’s livelihood, access to services, and sense of belonging and security in the world.

School climates have direct impact on the mental health and future success of students and bullying of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students remains a significant problem. Over 85% of LGBTQ students have reported experiencing harassment in school, with over 55% of those students being directly harassed and discriminated against based upon their gender expression. Research shows being in such hostile learning environments with limited support from educational systems leads directly to school avoidance, poorer academic outcomes, and significantly poorer psychological well-being. The decision to rescind the Title IX guidance only serves to increase confusion and vulnerability for transgender students and schools.

We encourage the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Education to reverse their decision to rescind the title IX guidance.."

We encourage the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to reverse their decision to rescind the title IX Guidance, a federal guidance given to schools regarding support for transgender and gender non-binary student’s use of restrooms and other single sex spaces. This original guidance was intended to protect people from gender discrimination and harassment. And we also take this opportunity to stand with a growing list of Departments of Education and school districts that have released statements in support of gender-inclusive policies, and ask that more protections, education and resources be put in place to protect the safety and inclusion of trans and gender diverse students in schools.

The NADTA strives to create and sustain inclusive and nondiscriminatory spaces for all of our members, and as part of our efforts we will continue to ensure the availability of all gender restrooms at our annual conference.

For more information on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students please visit the National Center for Transgender Equality FAQ

In solidarity with people whose identities, livelihood, access to services and sense of security have been threatened and impacted by transphobia.

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