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State Issues Guidance for Helping Transgender Students

State Issues Guidance for Helping Transgender Students

The state of New York issued guidance to its public schools this week on both how to help transgender students and how to appropriately address gender identity.

"The 12-page memo recommends that schools accept a student’s assertion of his or her own gender identity. It also underscores that the U.S. Education and Justice departments have stated that barring a student from restrooms or locker rooms that match his or her gender identity is prohibited sex discrimination," said the Wall Street Journal.

While the memo says that public schools can allow the option for unisex bathrooms and private spaces, neither should be forced on any student.

It also insists educators must use the pronoun the student identifies with when referring to him or her; it encourages educators to be sensitive to the fact that some transgender students might not have discussed their gender identity with their parents yet and to hold restraint when discussing with their parents.

The memo was developed with advocacy groups seeking equity and safety for transgender students, the Journal said, and is an attempt to reduce the bullying transgender students are subjected to.

"Among New Yorkers who expressed a transgender identity or gender nonconformity at school, 75% reported being harassed there, 35% were physically assaulted, and 12% experienced sexual violence, according to a survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force," the Journal said.

Read the full story here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/21/2015

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