The current U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, visited a public school within her home state of Michigan. She traveled to the Grand Rapids Public Museum School within her home city of Grand Rapids. Secretary Devos visited the school for a round table discussion about issues impacting the field of education. During her visit, Devos encountered Torin Hodgman. He is a transgender student who wanted to get her to further acknowledge the issues and problems that people like him face.
Hodgman was dressed in a white outfit and was wearing a transgender flag. Before she attended a roundtable meeting, she was interacting with students regarding science projects. Mrs. Devos was discovering what the students were learning about science over the past school year.
While Hodgman moved around with Secretary Devos, she did not pay him any mind. She focused on the science students and their projects. Hodgman didn’t mind that Devos did not speak with him. However, he knew that she realized what he represented. Remember that Secretary Devos supported transgender policies during 2017 but in February of 2018, the Trump administration did away with transgender protections at public schools. Transgender students could no longer use a bathroom that corresponded to their gender identity.
Hodgman knows that transgender people routinely face violence, threats, verbal abuse and are forced into isolation. Mrs. Devos is not turning her back on the transgender community but she can no longer afford to go against her administration. The Huffington Post stated that the Department of Education will no longer investigate any complaints by transgender people being barred from their corresponding gender identity.
The issue of transgenderism inside of public schools is not an easy subject to clear up. Secretary Devos must take a balanced approach to this issue. She has to ensure that transgender rights are being protected while maintaining safety within a public bathroom setting. Hodgman will continue to represent transgender people. He hopes that his presence near Mrs. Devos during her visit will get her to start acting on their behalf once again.