U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Meets with Members of the Transgender Community and LGBTQ Advocacy Leaders

Washington, DC - - (March 8, 2017) - - This morning, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with parents and students from the transgender community, as well as leaders from LGBTQ advocacy organizations.

The U.S. Department of Education reported that "Secretary DeVos listened to and engaged with families, parents and students about their personal stories of growing up transgender and the challenges transgender children face in schools today".

Following the meeting with students and families, Secretary DeVos met with Stephanie White, executive director of Equality Michigan; Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN; Nathan Smith, director of public policy of GLSEN; and Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The leaders representing the LGBTQ community expressed their concerns and offered their suggestions about additional ways in which the U.S. Department of Education could work to protect all students, including LGBTQ students.

Secretary DeVos reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring all students attend safe and nurturing learning environments and after the meeting issued the following statement:

"I am grateful for the opportunity to speak directly with these families, students and community leaders about their concerns, thoughts, fears and suggestions. Every school and every school leader has a moral responsibility to protect all students and ensure every child is respected and can learn in an accepting environment. I remain committed to advocating for and fighting on behalf of all students. Today's meeting was compelling, moving and welcomed, and part of an ongoing dialogue with families and students throughout the country."

Information source: U.S. Department of Education