School Board Passes Policy to Protect Transgender Students
At their meeting on Tuesday, February 25, members of the Shorewood School Board approved an updated version of District Policy 411- Equal Educational Opportunities, as well as the guideline 411- Nondiscrimination Related to Students Who Are Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes. This guideline ensures that all students, including students who may identify themselves as transgender or gender nonconforming, will be welcome and secure in Shorewood schools.
Specifically, guideline 411(2) prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying against any transgender student or any student who does not conform to gender role stereotypes.
It also allows any adult student, or the parent/guardian of a minor student, to determine the name and gender pronouns that school employees will use to address the student at school in connection with school-related activities. A court-ordered name change or medical treatment/procedure is not required to initiate such a request. Upon being informed that a student intends to regularly use a particular name and/or prefers to be addressed using particular pronouns that correspond to the student’s gender identify, school personnel are expected to respect that decision.
“Passing this policy and guideline is something that our entire District can be proud of,” Shorewood Superintendent Dr. Marty Lexmond said. “This makes our schools truly inclusive for all students.”
The policy also states that any student who is transgender will be permitted access to the men’s/women’s segregated restrooms that correspond to the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school and in other social environments. (If a transgender student makes any request regarding the use of locker rooms or any similar type of changing area, the request shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.)
Transgender students will be allowed to take part in physical education classes and intramural sports in a way that’s consistent with the gender identity the student regularly asserts at school and in other social environments as well. (Students who are transgender will be able to take part in interscholastic athletics in accordance with the requirements and policies of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.)
All students, within the constraints of the District’s dress code policy and dress codes, may dress in accordance with their gender identity, and school personnel may not enforce a dress code more strictly against transgender or gender nonconforming students than other students.
Moving forward, all Shorewood staff members will receive training about the policy and guideline as well as specific implementation information.
“We recognize that we are one of the first school districts in the state and around the country to enact this type of policy,” Lexmond said. “However, we believe it is an important, and necessary, step to ensure that all students are comfortable in our District community and free to express who they are.”
Monday March, 3, 2014 at 11:00AM
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