Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has “thrown out” formal civil rights complaints filed by students and former students who are transgender, a report at Politico shows. It also appears some if not all of the complaints thrown out were not officially resolved and the victims were not notified. Other cases brought by trans students have been languishing for years.
Politico states that “an examination of federal records by POLITICO shows” that “at least five” complaints “involving transgender students denied bathroom access [were] thrown out by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has halted such investigations.”
Additionally, a transgender student identified as Drake “said his bathroom-related complaint hasn’t been dismissed, but his case has stalled for three years. He doesn’t know why.”
The news outlet, “in an attempt to track administration action on bathroom access for transgender students reviewed 107 complaints filed with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights since January 2014.”
“All were in connection with transgender students who alleged different treatment, exclusion or a denial of benefits under Title IX — federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs. Among the complaints were at least six involving students who were denied access to bathrooms of their choice and five that were dismissed.”
As one of her first acts DeVos infamously in February of 2017 rescinded Obama-era guidance designed to help schools and administrators protect the civil rights of transgender students.
Last week Fast Company revealed that according to Omarosa Manigault Newman’s news book, Devos had mocked the intelligence of some of the Black students who protested her commencement speech at a Historically Black University.
Trump fears his base will turn on him if he flips and calls for nationwide mask guidelines: CNN
On CNN Saturday, analyst Ron Brownstein outlined the key reason President Donald Trump is struggling to adapt his message to proper public health guidance on the coronavirus pandemic.
"Ron, there is a retail trade group that has asked President Trump to institute federal, nationwide mask guidelines at stores across the country as the country continues to re-open," said anchor Alex Marquardt. "Experts are saying that masks could save thousands of lives in the coming months. Do you see a scenario in which — any chance in which he would issue that?"
"I think the short answer is no, and for a revealing reason," said Brownstein. "He is in a trap of his own construction. On coronavirus, we talk all the time about how President Trump's base is bonded to him, immovably. He's also bonded to the base in the other direction, that he is very reluctant to get out crosswise with a base that includes the kind of people that showed up at the Michigan capital to protest lockdown without wearing masks and waving Confederate flags and carrying automatic weapons."
Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead
There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.
This article first appeared in Salon.
What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.
As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode
This article first appeared in Salon.
There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)