CNN Town Hall Applauds Jacob, 'A 9-Year-Old Transgender American'

By Susan Jones | October 11, 2019 | 6:53am EDT
Jacob, a 9-year-old transgender, asks Sen. Elizabeth Warren what she will do so "kids like me feel safer in schools." (Photo: Screen capture/CNN)

( - "My name is Jacob, and I'm a 9-year-old transgender American," the child told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Thursday night.

People attending the CNN town hall on LGBTQ equality erupted in cheers and applause, interrupting Jacob's attempt to ask Warren a scripted question.

"My question is,” Jacob started to say. [Cheers and applause]

“What will you do in your first week as president to make sure that kids like me feel safer in schools, and what do you think schools need to do better to make sure that I don't have to worry about anything but my homework?

Warren told Jacob she liked his question. She told Jacob she would find "the right secretary of education," then ask Jacob for his approval before nominating that person.

Here is Warren's full response, which was interrupted by applause several times:

We're going to do this. So let me start by saying I want to have a secretary of education who both believes in public education and believes in the value of every one of our kids and is willing to enforce our civil rights laws.

It turns out that when the Department of Education was set up many years ago, the secretary of education was given a whole lot of power over the public schools and over the rules and how they're enforced.

And we've had some secretaries of education who have been better, and we've had one that's been a whole lot worse. Her name is Betsy Devos. So when I'm president, she'll be gone.

And here's my plan, Jacob. I'm going to find just the right secretary of education, but here's what I plan to do. I want to make sure that the person I think is the right secretary of education meets you and hears your story, and then I want you to tell me if you think that's the right person, and then we'll make the deal. Does that sound good?

Jacob gave Warren a thumbs-up.

"Good. Okay," Warren said.

Jacob's mother, standing beside her son, was described by moderator Chris Cuomo as "an advocate for transgender youth" who is "active with the Human Rights Campaign."


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