U.S. Department of Education Recognizes Shorewood School District for Policies & Practices Supporting Transgender Students
The U.S. Department of Education cited the Shorewood School District in a report highlighting school districts across the nation that are at the forefront of emerging policies and practices for supporting transgender students. The report was issued following the recent White House directive for schools across the nation to provide transgender students with access to suitable facilities—including bathrooms and locker rooms—that match their chosen gender identity.
In naming Shorewood as one of approximately 25 school districts highlighted, the report states: "Wisconsin's Shorewood School District issued guidelines that allow students to dress in accordance with their gender identity and remind school personnel that they must not enforce a dress code more strictly against transgender and gender nonconforming students than other students."
The report also states the following regarding bullying and harassment of transgender students: "The Shorewood Guidelines specify that harassment based on a student's actual or perceived transgender status or gender nonconformity is prohibited and notes that these complaints are to be handled in the same manner as other discrimination, harassment, and bullying complaints."
The District's transgender students policy began in February 2014, when members of the Shorewood School Board approved Policy 411-Equal Educational Opportunities as well as 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, are 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.
The guideline also allows any adult student, or the parent/guardian of a minor student, to determine the name and gender pronouns that school employees 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 identified gender, school personnel are expected to respect that decision.
"I am proud to be a part of a district that was one of the first in the state and across the country to enact this type of policy," said Shorewood Superintendent Dr. Bryan Davis. "We will always be active in supporting our students and ensuring that they are comfortable in their environment and free to express who they are."
All Shorewood staff members have received training about the policy and guideline, and what it entails.
Read the complete school district policy here.
Read the U.S. Department of Education report citing Shorewood School District here.