The following article by Ricardo Lopez and Liz Sawyer was posted on the Star Tribune website February 23, 2017:
Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota school officials moved quickly Thursday to reassure transgender students and their families after President Donald Trump withdrew a federal directive meant to protect them in schools, giving some hope to parents like Alison Yocom who are worried for their children.
“We were scrambling and trying to figure out what to say to our kids,” said Yocom of Minneapolis, mother to George, a 13-year-old transgender boy. In contact with other parents through the support group Transforming Families, Yocom said some of their kids were afraid to go to school on Thursday.
“Kids’ lives are at stake,” Yocom said.
Trump’s decision to undo the federal directive is unlikely to have an immediate impact in Minnesota, where the Human Rights Act and other laws require public schools to ensure the safety of all children regardless of sex and sexual orientation. But it brings back front and center a hot-button social issue that has sparked fierce debate about how schools and other public facilities should accommodate transgender people.
Social conservatives and other opponents of the now-rescinded directive, issued by former President Barack Obama, cheered Trump’s move. They said the federal government overreached by interfering in matters best left to states.