Educational Policy for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
An Awareness and Equity Presentation
Traditionally schools have sorted students by their gender characteristics for a variety of reasons.
In some cases, gender roles determine the paths of students.
Not all students fit into this gender paradigm.
Students identify with and express their gender identity in different ways.
Equity in schools must include policies to support those individuals who identify with and express their gender in ways that differ from traditional paradigms.
A person's deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender.
An adjective describing a person whose gender identity or expression is different from that traditionally associated with an assigned sex at birth.
A term for people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations. This includes people who identify outside of traditional gender categories or identify as both genders.
How am I being supported?
Support through policy development:
The purpose of this policy is to foster an educational environment that is safe and free from discrimination for all students, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and to facilitate compliance with local, state and federal laws concerning bullying, harassment and discrimination.
This policy should be interpreted consistent with the goals of reducing the stigmatization of and improving the educational integration of transgender and gender nonconforming students, maintaining the privacy of all students, and fostering cultural competence and professional development for school staff.
Effective schools and districts have strong policies in place to eliminate discrimination, bullying, and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.
School administrators are responsible for ensuring that all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, have a safe school environment.
This includes ensuring that any incident of discrimination, harassment, or bullying is given immediate attention, including investigation, appropriate corrective actions, and providing students and staff with appropriate resources.
Student Transition Strategies
Elementary Level Students
As students transition at the elementary level, it is best practice for school admnistrators to work closely with the student's family to ensure a smooth supportive transition. Administrators are encouraged to reach out to parents when students in transition encouter difficulties or challenges.
Secondary Level Students
Students transitioning at the secondary level can be slightly more challenging. Notifying the parents may be unnecessary or could pose a potential challenge for the student. Best practice at the secondary level is to work closely with the student to determine the parent's level of involvement in the process.
Access to Gender-Segregated Activities, Areas, and Practices
Every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student's gender identity.
A court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change his or her official records.
Locker Room Accessibility
The use of locker rooms by transgender students shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis with the following goals:
maximizing the student's social integration
equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes and sports
ensuring the student's safety and comfort, and minimizing stigmatization of the student.
New California law mandates that all students shall have access to all restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason, should be provided access to a single user restroom.
A key to supporting transgender and gender nonconforming students is the ongoing professional development of teachers and staff members.
Key professional development topics would include but are not limited to:
1. Bullying prevention strategies
2. Bullying intervention techniques
3. Research regarding bullying targets and power relationships within bullying
4. Awareness of and response to cyberbullying
It is the responsibility of all educators to provide a supportive educational experience for all students.
Support transgender and gender nonconforming student needs
For more resources, refer to materials from The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network and The National Center for Transgender Equality
An A&F Production for EDUC 709 at California State University, San Bernardino