New Resource on Supporting Transgender Students

May 2016, Volume 39, Issue 9

The Obama Administration recently released new Guidance on Title IX that will impact schools related to protections for transgender students and allowing use of facilities that match a particular individual’s chosen identity. Given the safety and social-emotional well-being of every student that must be at the forefront of discussions in your learning community on this issue, NAESP would like to draw your attention to an accompanying document, Examples of Emerging Policies and Practices to Support Transgender Students. This document includes sections on terminology, privacy, and emerging practices to support transgender students.

It is critically important to maintain a positive school culture where all students feel included and respected, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression, and NAESP encourages principals to work with school support personnel, such as counselors and psychologists, to ensure that younger students have clear and age-appropriate communication.

To aid you as you work with your school community on this issue, NAESP recommends “Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions.” The Gender Spectrum brief, which is endorsed and supported by NAESP, as well as the American School Counselors Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of School Psychologists, is designed to help educators to work with their school communities as they create inclusive bathroom policies. In it you will find language to respond to frequently asked questions such as:

  • Why can’t transgender students just use a private bathroom?
  • What should a staff member do if a student requests to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity and the teacher is unaware that the student is transgender?
  • What can I say to parents or students who are genuinely uncertain about the idea of transgender students using bathrooms?

These issues, and others, are addressed in the brief. Please use it to help ensure gender-inclusive policies in your school community.

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