A group of students pose for a picture during a counterprotest against Westboro Baptist Church members (not shown) on the campus of Howard University. Church members were on campus protesting Howard University School of Law’s organization for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender and queer students. (Shenarri Freeman/HUNS)

Society continues to change and evolve with accompanying changes in laws, philosophies and mores.

One issue that has moved to the top of the list within today’s society has been transgender children and the rights they should be guaranteed within America’s public school systems, specifically the delineation of bathrooms for their use.

Arguments continue to be raised on both sides — one saying there should be gender-free bathrooms for their use — the other maintaining that one’s gender at birth should determine which bathroom children can use.

Meanwhile, innocent children desperately trying to understand confusing feelings that lie deep within, while also looking for safe ways to express themselves, free to claim the gender to which they feel called, find themselves treated as pawns, caught in a painful game of chess.

President Barack Obama, near the end of his second term and after great deliberation, decided to issue a federal mandate that would allow transgender children, no matter where they lived, to have access to facilities within their schools that would give them dignity, privacy and the right to allow their choice of gender to determine which bathroom they could and would use.

Now our children, with the recent executive order signed by President Donald Trump, must once again be wondering if they can feel safe in their schools, or if they may soon be destined to stand in the “other” line — foreign creatures who refuse to go along with rules more fitting for the past.

Trump says the federal government should bow out and allow “state’s rights” to assert itself. Whether Blacks have problems with transgender orientation or not, we are well aware of the dangers and injustices that have often been heaped on those of a specific race, gender, or religion when any, or all, of those identifiers clash with the beliefs of those in power in one particular state.

We are “one nation,” aren’t we? At least that’s what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, guaranteeing all citizens the same rights.

Why should transgender children be treated differently? Aren’t we, without providing the same rights as determined and guaranteed by the federal government, throwing some of our children into their state’s lion’s den? We believe the president has erred in his decision. All children deserve equal rights and protection — all children.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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