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Back to Communications Home

District reaffirms commitment

to safeguarding all students' rights

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 23, 2017) -- The City School District of Albany applauds our state's government, law and education leaders' strong opposition to what Gov. Cuomo correctly has called "the misguided action taken by the federal government" to rescind legal protections for transgender students said Interim Superintendent Kimberly Young Wilkins, Ed.D.

 

"The City School District of Albany absolutely will continue to protect transgender students and all of our students from discrimination and harassment -- because it's still the law in New York in spite of this misguided federal action, and, most importantly, because it will always be the right thing to do," Dr. Wilkins said.

 

Please visit our From the Superintendent section to read a message from Dr. Wilkins earlier this month expressing the district's commitment to valuing and supporting all students and families.

 

Along with the governor, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia vehemently objected to the Feb. 22 decision by President Trump and the federal departments of Education and Justice to rescind guidance that clarified federal legal protections for transgender students.

 

Schneidermand and Elia reaffirmed that, irrespective of the federal action, all school districts in the state have independent duties under state and local laws to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment in their schools and at all school functions.

 

“The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind this guidance sends a dangerous and divisive message and threatens some of our most vulnerable young people,” Schneiderman said. “But in New York state, the law remains the law -- and school districts have independent duties to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment when they go to school.  My office will use all the existing tools of federal, state and local law to ensure that transgender kids are safe in their schools and are provided equal access to all programming and facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

 

“Our most sacred duty as parents, educators and leaders of state agencies is to protect all of the children in our care,” Elia said. “Transgender youth are valued members of our schools and communities across New York state, yet statistics show that more than half of them will attempt suicide at least once by their 20th birthday. So we must do everything in our power to create learning environments that are safe and welcoming for all. The guidance we have developed with Attorney General Schneiderman and our partners underscores the value we place on respecting all students and indeed all people.”

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves more than 9,600 students in 17 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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