Dayton slams feds’ rollback of transgender student rule

Updated 12:42 p.m. | Posted 10:44 a.m.

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday attacked a federal decision to pull back on rules intended to accommodate the needs of transgender children in schools.

The United States Justice and Education departments said Wednesday that public schools no longer need to follow Obama administration orders requiring that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender.

The Obama rules provoked a legal backlash in parts of the country, including a Virginia, Minn., lawsuit, with some arguing that children could be forced into an intimate setting with someone of the opposite sex.

Trump administration officials on Wednesday said those decisions should rest with state and local governments.

Dayton, however, criticized that move and urged Minnesota schools to adhere to the Obama-era regulations and protect transgender students. He noted that the most recent Minnesota student survey showed transgender students feel less safe in schools than other students.

“These are vulnerable people,” Dayton told reporters. “They deserve our compassion and support, not our attacks and demonization.”

State law, he added, still requires school districts to ensure that transgender students, like all other students, are provided with safe learning environments and are not harassed.

“As a person of Christian faith, I am mystified that others who profess to be people of faith would demonize school children who simply want to go to the bathroom,” the governor said.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said he believes turning decisions about transgender students back to the states is appropriate. Gazelka said local school leaders should be able to work through the issue “as they see fit.”

“Every situation is different, and I think that’s a better way to do it,” Gazelka said.

MPR News reporter Tim Pugmire contributed to this report.

  • wjc

    Thanks, Governor Dayton!!

  • Ralphy

    I simply don’t understand.
    If anyone can explain to this old man, I would appreciate it.

    One side wants people to be able to use the bathroom (locker room too?) of the gender one identifies with.

    The other side wants people to be required to use their birth gender.

    Is there a serious problem of people using the “wrong” gender bathroom that the POTUS is finally addressing?

    What if someone has undergone transformation?
    Does the birth gender side want people who now have a penis to use the lady’s room?
    Or those who now have breasts and a vagina to use the men’s?
    How would this be enforced?
    Are they proposing we have a gender inspector in every restroom?

    Seriously – if someone could lay out a reasoned argument that justifies the birth gender argument, I would appreciate it.

    • Fred

      The problem arose when Obama declared a diktat with no hearings or discussion declaring that biological men should be allowed into women’s restrooms and locker rooms. Trump simply reversed that diktat and is declaring that the bathroom powers are not delineated in the Constitution.

      Kennedy put man on the moon. Obama put men into women’s rest rooms and locker rooms.

      • wjc

        So much for reasoned argument.

        • Fred

          So much for the Democratic Party being in the majority.

          • wjc

            The logic is ludicrous, but that is what we have come to expect.

          • DavidP

            Fred, you have just forfeited any and all legitimacy to your earlier complaints you registered regarding others trolling your posts. How Ironic.

      • DavidP

        No hearings or discussion?
        As long as you’ve hijacked what appears to be legitimate questions regarding the original story, I’ll ask you a legitimate question.
        How many hearings or discussions did Trump hold before this decision?
        His immigration fiat?
        Lift water rules on the coal industry?
        Waiving environmental studies for the pipelines?
        The ICE crackdown?
        Gutting Dodd-Frank?

        I’ll make it easy on you. The answer is 0

      • Ralphy

        Thank you for your insight and thoughtful addition to the conversation.
        And thank you for not referencing breitbart or some malware infected web link.

  • RWS

    The Gutless Wonder Dayton just doesn’t want to have to tell Minnesota Schools what to do because he knows that to protect the minority in this issue means he will be out of work, at the next election…so it’s easier to pass the buck, (i.e. Feds -or- Local municipalities), than to saddle the Dems with their own poison ! Chickensh!t