Garrison School Adopts Gender Policy

Outlines how students should be treated

By Chip Rowe

The Garrison school board on Sept. 4 adopted a policy on student gender identity for the district, which has students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

It states that district employees should “use the language that individual students are using to describe their own identity, appearance or behavior,” such as gender nonconforming (GNC) or transgender, as well as the preferred pronoun.

If a student legally changes his or her name, the district will change its records but maintain records with the assigned birth name in a separate, confidential file, according to the policy. If the student has not legally changed his or her name, the district will change the name in unofficial records and on any student IDs but use the student’s legal name and gender on state tests.

A transgender or GNC student may use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to “the student’s consistently expressed gender identity at school,” the policy states. Students can also participate in gym class and on overnight field trips based on their gender identity.

Participating in sports requires documentation from a parent, counselor or medical professional, and the gender should be the same as that used to register for school. The athletic director will notify opposing teams if the student needs accommodation.

The board also on Sept. 4 voted to adopt a resolution saying the district is committed to “helping promote our core American value that no one should be targeted because of their racial, ethnic, immigration or refugee status, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other social identities” and “to speak out against discrimination, xenophobia and hatred because when the unacceptable becomes the norm in our society, human rights for all are threatened.”

One thought on “Garrison School Adopts Gender Policy

  1. The following are responses to this story posted on The Current’s Facebook page, some of which have been edited for brevity:

    Patricia Burruano: I’m glad my kids are grown. The liberals are ruining the school.

    Lauren Comizio: What if a student feels targeted because they are not comfortable sharing the bathroom? If a child says he or she isn’t comfortable, it becomes discrimination.

    Amy McIlwaine: It’s easy for all of us to pontificate on dictionary definitions, our personal ideas of God, and what we learned in some classroom 40 years ago. Does no one remember when separate bathrooms for separate races was the norm because “God made separate races to be separate”? Times change, and we must learn to accept what was once hidden and made shameful. You would be singing a different tune if it was your child who was born different, or maybe you would be sending them to “conversion therapy.” Shame on those who take issue with whatever a child in our community needs to feel safe.

    John Flynn: I don’t care what bathroom anyone uses as long as you wash your hands.

    Ann Fanizzi: Education and children being used to enforce dubious norms cause confusion and possible unnecessary conflict.

    Sherry Marino: Stop the nonsense! You are what your DNA states you are. Next a kid will say, “I’m a cow” and we will have to provide a milking machine. The liberals have carried it too far. Boys use boys’ bathrooms and girls use girls’ bathrooms.

    Erin Giunta: Good for Garrison. And shame on all of the hateful comments. We are talking about children. Have you no heart or compassion?

    Andrea Hudson: The only silver lining [here] is that the bigots reveal themselves, and I know who to avoid.