Trump And Transgender Rights What Just Happened

first_img Share Steve Helber/APGavin Grimm speaks during an interview at his home in Gloucester, Va., in 2015. On Wednesday, the Trump administration made big news regarding the rights of transgender students. But what exactly changed? And what does it mean for students in school districts around the country? Here’s our cheat sheet.1. What just happened?Last May, the Obama administration sent what’s called a “Dear Colleague” letter to school districts. The letter, from the Justice and Education departments, made clear that the administration was interpreting Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, to include transgender students.The letter stated that, in order to be in compliance with the law, every K-12 school district, state education association and high school athletic association in the country “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.”This week the Trump administration officially rescinded that guidance. This does not change the law. What it does is give states and districts more flexibility in their interpretation of Title IX and how they choose to accommodate transgender students.2. Is this just about bathrooms?No, not at all. Title IX also covers access to single-sex facilities like locker rooms and the right to participate in sports. The Obama administration’s guidance also spelled out other steps that schools should take to avoid discrimination, like allowing all students to attend prom or graduation in the clothing that makes them feel most comfortable.The American Academy of Pediatrics summarized the public health issues at stake today in their critical statement about the Trump administration’s decision:“Transgender children are already at increased risk for violence, bullying, harassment and suicide. They may be more prone to depression and engaging in self-harm … Policies excluding transgender youth from facilities consistent with their gender identity have detrimental effects on their physical and mental health, safety and well-being.”3. What policies do school districts around the country currently have regarding transgender students?There’s a wide range. The nation’s three largest districts, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, have comprehensive policies that cover not just restrooms, locker rooms and sports teams but issues of privacy, bullying and harassment.Information about a student’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression should be shared “only on a need to know basis,” says the policy in LA.“Students should be addressed by school staff by the name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity that is consistently asserted at school,” New York City’s policy states.Chicago’s calls for schools to convene an administrative support team, including the principal and parents or guardians, to address each transgender student’s individual needs.The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an advocacy group, tracks which states have created laws that prohibit bullying, harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of gender identity. These are clustered on the coasts, but also include Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois. North Carolina, the home of HB2, or the “bathroom bill,” also has a law that protects students from bullying on the basis of gender identity.Legal complaints against some school districts in several states have charged that transgender students have been disciplined for using the “wrong” restroom, isolated on school trips that involved overnight stays, referred to by their birth name and pronoun and excluded from school activities in other ways.4. How does all of this relate to the case now headed to the Supreme Court?Gavin Grimm, 17, is a transgender senior at Gloucester High School in eastern Virginia. After parents complained that Grimm was using the boys restroom at school, the school board ruled that he had to use a private, unisex bathroom instead.“That’s basically saying, you can’t use the restroom with the rest of the kids,” Grimm told NPR’s Robert Siegel last year. “I’m not unisex. The alternative facility was a unisex bathroom. I’m not unisex. I’m a boy. And there’s no need for that kind of ostracization.”Grimm sued and is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Grimm’s favor, citing the Obama administration’s guidance on Title IX that has now been rescinded. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, and oral arguments are scheduled on March 28.5. What is likely to happen next for transgender student rights?A few things. First, that Supreme Court case. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling in Grimm’s case was based on the Obama guidance. Rescinding it complicates things for Grimm’s legal team. Regardless of the Trump administration’s move though, the Supreme Court now has before it the big question: Does the word “sex” as it is used in Title IX include gender identity?In August, a federal district judge in Texas ruled that the Obama administration had overreached, and paused its Title IX guidance. There is genuine disagreement over how broadly courts should interpret “sex,” and that legal disagreement will persist until the Supreme Court puts it to rest.In the meantime, states and districts can now set their own policies, which may or may not include equal access to facilities on the basis of gender identity.Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made it clear in her statement on the new Title IX guidance that she considers “protecting all students, including LGBTQ students, not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America. We owe all students a commitment to ensure they have access to a learning environment that is free of discrimination, bullying and harassment.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit read more

The ultimate guide to help you bag the best hotel rooms

first_imgAlthough there are perks to preparing and booking in advance, if you’re just not that kind of person, it’s not a problem. Looking for a hotel last minute can also be an advantage. You can shop around, and you’re more likely to benefit from flash hotel room sales (you don’t have to book in advance to benefit from these). And while we’re on the subject of last-minute breaks, if you haven’t settled on a location, you might just find some inspiration by selecting one of Skyscanner’s suggested hotels in a popular destination. Simply scroll to the bottom of the hotel search page to the ‘Need Inspiration?’ section. Who knows where you might end up! Is it worth asking for an upgrade? And how do I do it? Search flights everywhere Search flights everywhere Does it pay to be loyal to one hotel chain, or should I shop around? With so many hotels vying for your attention (and your hard-earner dollar), they have to do something really special to stand out. That’s where loyalty schemes come in, and now, even better, they often extend to booking via price comparison sites too, like Skyscanner. When the scheme is free, there’s no harm in signing up. Keep your loyalty card close to hand and remember to hand it over when checking in and bag those points. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up and, as they say, points mean prizes. Or in this case, cheap hotel deals and priority rooms. Many loyalty programmes now offer free nights at their hotels when you reach a certain number of points, as well as exclusive member rates and, let’s be honest, star treatment. Search for hotels If you’re not happy with your room or you weren’t expecting that charming pub across the road to turn into an all-night karaoke bar, then say so. The hotel and its staff want you to enjoy your stay and are likely to go out of their way to ensure that happens – no hotel wants a bad review. And if you’re particularly impressed with your room or the quality of the customer service, mention that, too. Feedback works both ways and hotel staff will always appreciate a compliment. Who knows, they might be more inclined to treat you to a complimentary upgrade… Search for hotels Once you’ve decided on your hotel, use our flight search tool to find the best deals. I want a hotel with a great restaurant AND a pool, but how do I find something I can afford? Search for hotels Search flights everywhere When should I go and where should I stay to get the best value hotel rooms? After all, the hotel wants you to enjoy your stay, plaster it over Instagram and share it around the family WhatsApp group, so it’s in their best interests to make you happy and surprise you. Before new hotels open their doors to the world, many often hold a ‘soft’ or ‘unofficial’ opening before the grand reveal. It allows hotels to iron out any kinks, get their staff trained up and get themselves ready for the big day, before the critics roll in. That’s not to say you’ll be getting sub-standard service – they’ll be doing everything they can to impress – but you’ll be a bit of a guinea pig. These soft launches mean that some of the most exclusive, luxury hotels offer cut-price rooms just to fill the hotel. So keep an eye out for any new hotels and bag yourself the best room for a not-to-be-seen-again price. And if you want even more luxury on a budget, read up on our 5-star hotels for under £100. If you don’t ask, you just don’t get. When you book, if there’s an option to note any ‘special requests’, don’t be afraid to ask. If you’d prefer a corner room or extra cupboard space, jot it down and if the hotel can accommodate, they’re likely to try and fulfil your requests­. We’re not promising ‘They-upgraded-us-to-the-penthouse-suite!’ type returns, but that’s not to say that if a hotel has rooms available with a sea view, that you wouldn’t get it. And if you know your hotel is a high-rise building, ask for a room on a higher level. Your time spent in the lift may rise (pun intended), but it’ll be worth it for the view you get. Don’t set your sights on a particular upgrade, just see what they’re willing to offer you and be flexible. Often calling the hotel directly will get you the best results too. Ever get to your hotel after a long day travelling and wonder why the couple in front of you have the penthouse suite with the sea view and you end up gazing out at the car park on the ground floor? Whether you’re off backpacking or on a quick city break, we’ve answered your questions on how to bag the best hotel rooms, and for the best price. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Search flights everywhere Search for hotels When it comes to finding the best hotel deals, it’s a matter of timing. Generally hotels in city centres, especially in business districts, will be cheaper at weekends (when all the worker ants have headed home). If you’re planning on a weekend city break, consider the business hubs. Most customers will be weekday workers, so hotels will no doubt be keen to fill their rooms on quieter days. Plus, as these are commuter hotspots, you can guarantee that travel routes into the inner city will be an absolute breeze. And if you’re looking for a more rural retreat, your average country house hotel will drop its prices significantly during the week. Hoteliers do this to ensure hotels are as full as possible, no matter what day of the week it is. So don’t write off that five-star Cotswolds crash pad just yet – especially if you’re visiting between Tuesday and Thursday. Search for hotels Search for hotels When are luxury hotel rooms most affordable? Search flights everywhere Is it better to book in advance or leave it to the last minute? Search flights everywhere Struggling to find a hotel that has the 5-star rating, the Michelin-starred restaurant, the glistening heated pool AND the lowest price you’ve ever seen? It’s time to weigh up what you really want. Don’t pass up a bargain just because you’re obsessed with one particular feature. That charming boutique hotel in Barcelona might not have an Instagram-worthy pool, but does it really matter when the beach is just a short walk away? And if that city centre hotel ticks all your boxes but doesn’t have a brilliant restaurant, it’s worth remembering that there’s sure to be a great lunch spot nearby. In summary, being flexible about hotel must-haves is a great way to save money and get better rooms. Skyscanner’s search tool can help you select the features you value the most, whether that’s a spa, 24-hour reception or a pool. Search for hotels I’m not happy with my experience – what shall I do? Search flights everywhere RelatedThe best hotels in Dublin for every budgetPlanning a city break to Dublin but haven’t booked your accommodation? Don’t panic, because we’ve rounded up the best options, whether you’re a backpacker on a budget or a fan of five-star luxury.13 luxury celebrity spotting hotels around the worldThe secret’s out: see inside the five-star hotels where the rich and famous hang out on holiday.The best hotels in Alicante for every budgetAlicante, on the Costa del Sol, is home to wide range of accommodation options if you’re looking to book a summer holiday. From good value, affordable hotels on the beach to boutique hotels in Alicante’s old town. Finding somewhere to stay that suits your budget is is easy, just read…last_img read more