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.”