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Schools are offering lessons on accommodating transgender students

  • 132.00 Kuwait د.ك
  • Published date: May 22, 2017
    • 30318, Sankt Peter am Ottersbach, Australian Capital Territory, United States



In this Wednesday, June 12, 2013, file photo, transgender student Nicole Maines, center, speaks to reporters as her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, look on outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine. Associated Press/Robert F. Bukaty SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- From locker rooms and sex education classes to dress codes and overnight field trips, many U.S. public schools already are balancing the civil rights of transgender students with any concerns that classmates, parents and community members might have.

The U.S. Department of Education is drawing on those practices to guide other schools as they work to comply with the Obama administration's directive that transitioning children be treated consistent with their gender identity. That has been the policy since 2013 of the Arcadia Unified School District in Southern California. As part of a settlement with the federal departments of Justice and Education that became the foundation for the national mandate issued Friday, students may use the bathroom, locker room or wilderness cabin that corresponds with their recognized gender outside school, Superintendent David Vannasdall said.

"This is absolutely not about a student on a day-to-day basis saying, 'Today I'm a boy, tomorrow I'm a girl.' That has never happened," Vannasdall said. "By the time these students are at a point where they are asking for our help, they are presenting in all areas of their life as that gender." The administration had warned schools before Friday that denying transgender students access to the correct facilities and activities was illegal under its interpretation of federal sex discrimination laws.

But the new guidance, for the first time, offers advice for accommodating the privacy needs of nontransgender youngsters. Citing guidelines adopted by Washington, New York, the District of Columbia and Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky, President Barack Obama's Education Department said schools could erect privacy curtains in changing areas, permit all students to make use of single-stall restrooms or work out other case-by-case arrangements as long as the burden doesn't rest exclusively on transgender students.

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