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Betsy DeVos Turns School Gun Violence Commission Into a Tool to Punish Black Kids, Ignore Gun Violence

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In the weeks after the Parkland school mass shooting that left 17 people dead, the Trump administration was highly criticized for doing nothing to protect students. As the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student survivors quickly became student activists, and heroes to the left, the NRA and President Trump knew they were losing ground.

So President Trump tasked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to create a commission to study the epidemic of gun violence in schools and come up with recommendations to make schools safer.

Secretary DeVos took her time to get the Commission up and running.

Her first step was to appoint members to the Commission: just four Trump Cabinet Secretaries, with no Democrats, experts, or students.

That was a red flag.

The next red flag came when DeVos testified before Congress, and was forced to admit that her commission on gun violence would not study the role of guns in school shootings.

It continued to get worse.

This summer DeVos announced a plan to allow schools to use federal funds to buy guns.

And now, according to The New York Times, Secretary DeVos will use her school safety commission as a tool to rescind or roll back Obama-era guidelines designed to protect Black and other minority students from racially-motivated punishments – while suggesting they are responsible for a rise in school violence.

“The Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama-era policies aimed at ensuring that minority children are not unfairly disciplined, arguing that the efforts have eased up on punishment and contributed to rising violence in the nation’s schools,” The Times reports.

“The decision culminates a nearly yearlong effort begun by the Trump administration after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.”

The Times notes that this was the plan almost from the start, when DeVos’ commission ignored the role of guns in school shootings, “and instead scrutinized the Obama administration’s school discipline policies, though none of the most high-profile school shootings were perpetrated by black students.”

The suspect in the Parkland massacre is white.

Documents from DeVos’ commission that were obtained by The Times “focus significantly on race and promote the idea that the [Obama-era led] federal crackdown on potentially discriminatory practices has made schools more dangerous.”

Federal data shows Black students are three times more likely to be punished, the Times notes.

Vox took a deeper dive. Among its findings, Black girls are suspended six times more than white girls, and Black boys are suspended three times more than white boys. That’s just for starters.

Rescinding guidelines on protecting Black and minority students from being punished more than their peers is yet another attack on minority students by Secretary DeVos.

One of DeVos’ first acts was to rescind Obama-era guidance protecting the civil rights of transgender students. She quickly told conservatives at a political conference the guidelines were a “huge overreach” by the Obama administration. Later, DeVos threw out complaints from transgender students, and later formalized policy to reject complaints filed by them.

She has rescinded guidance protecting students with disabilities and eliminated Dept. of Education documents on protecting them.

It’s not just minority students DeVos is targeting. Victims of sexual assault are on her list as well. DeVos has worked to expand protections for accused rapists and others accused of sexual misconduct, including assault and harassment.

RELATED STORIES:

First Betsy DeVos Came for Transgender Students, Then for the Disabled, Now She’s Targeting Minority Children

DeVos Delays Student Protections – Says Discrimination ‘Not Necessarily’ Cause of Racist Policies

‘Talked to Three People and Pet a Dog’: Parkland Student Survivors Say Betsy DeVos’ Visit Was ‘Just for Publicity’

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BIGOTRY

Trump Administration to Allow Taxpayer-Funded Shelter Providers to Ban Homeless Transgender People, Because Jesus

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The Trump Dept. of Housing and Urban Development late on Wednesday moved to roll back an Obama-era regulation that bans discrimination by taxpayer-funded shelter providers against transgender people. HUD Secretary Ben Carson wants to allow anti-transgender discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

A statement on the HUD website filled with coded language says the proposed new rule “Returns Decision Making to Local Shelter Providers,” to allow them to “establish an admissions policy that best serves their unique communities,” and “better accommodate [the] religious beliefs of shelter providers.”

In reality, the new rule would allow taxpayers to fund anti-transgender discrimination fueled by religious-based bigotry, with the federal government’s stamp of approval.

The move comes during an out of control pandemic, amid an unstable economy, and worse-than Great Depression-era unemployment.

“This important update will empower shelter providers to set policies that align with their missions, like safeguarding victims of domestic violence or human trafficking,” Secretary Carson said in the statement.

In reality, the new rule would remove protections for one of the most vulnerable populations in America, the transgender community. At some point in their lives one in five transgender people experience homelessness.

“Transgender and gender non-binary adults are more likely than cisgender adults to experience unsheltered homelessness,” CBS News notes, adding that “according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and transgender youth ‘make up a significant portion’ of homeless youth in the U.S.”

The move is yet another example of the Trump administration’s never-ending attacks on transgender Americans.

This month marks the third anniversary of President Trump’s infamous decision to ban transgender service members from the U.S. Military, which he did without consultation with the heads of the military services, and via tweet.

Last month Trump’s Dept. of Health and Human Services rolled back Obama-era protections for transgender patients, calling them “unnecessary.”

Last year Trump’s Dept. of Justice asked the Supreme Court to rule it is legal to fire transgender workers just because they are transgender. The Court last month decided it is illegal to do so.

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A Defeated Donald Trump Declares ‘We Live’ After Historic SCOTUS Ruling on LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination (Video)

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President Donald Trump, whose administration lobbied the Supreme Court to deny LGBTQ people civil rights, on Monday lamented the high court’s landmark ruling that finds workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans is illegal.

“They’ve ruled and we live with the decision,” Trump said, defeated and somewhat sad. “We live with the decision of the Supreme Court.”

This is the first time Trump has weighed in on the historic ruling. It took him more than six hours to say anything, and he only did after being asked about it by a reporter.

The President also claimed he had read the 170+ pages decision handed down just after 10 AM Monday.

“Very powerful decision, actually,” he added. “They have so ruled.”

In 2017 Trump’s DOJ told a federal appeals court the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect “homosexuals” from discrimination.

Last year Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the Supreme Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay or transgender.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled it does.

Trump, who is the most anti-LGBTQ president in American history – at least modern American history, has repeatedly refused to sign the Equality Act, which the House has already passed.

Watch:

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Missouri Lawmaker Wants to Make It Easy for Parents to Sue Their Local School if Kids Are ‘Subjected To’ Anything LGBTQ

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A Missouri state lawmaker is pushing a bill that would make it easy for parents to sue schools if their children are “subjected to” anything LGBTQ.

Rep. Chuck Basye wants parents to have total control over what their children see in school, even if it’s not part of the curriculum. The bill is in response to a poster a GSA – gay-straight alliance club – put up without getting approval from all the students’ parents.

Basye says the purpose of his legislation “is to give this a little bit of teeth so parents can take action if they feel that they’re not being listened to or their child is subjected to something they don’t agree with,” MissouriNet reports.

“I think the parents have a right to know what is in front of their children in public schools,” Basye told MissouriNet.. “That’s the intent of the bill, nothing more, nothing less.”

The ACLU has weighed in, and says Basye’s bill, HB 1565, goes too far.

“This is not only way too far reaching, but absolutely censorship of essentially livelihoods and existence at all,” Jay-Marie Hill, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, told MissouriNet. Hill says if the bill becomes law teachers could be responsible, and even fired, if they have a guest speaker who says something parents might disagree with.

The bill is clearly framed to focus on “instruction on human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.”

And while it says information presented to students must be “medically and factually accurate,” it also mandates that “abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relation to all sexual activity for unmarried pupils.”

Abstinence only education has been proven to not work.

Some responses to Rep. Basye’s bill from social media:

UPDATE: 4:56 PM –
Rep. Basye’s Democratic challenger, Adrian Plank, calls Basye’s bill “one of the most obviously discriminatory pieces of legislation that I’ve ever seen in Missouri.

What I find inappropriate is a legislator that spends his time trying to pass bills that uses the power of the government to treat those most vulnerable like they are lesser human beings, or even worse, that they don’t exist. That they shouldn’t be considered worthy of attention. People have real problems that need solved, and this is how he chooses to spend his time.

 Image via Facebook

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