GDOE Principals Discuss Possible Policies Regarding Accommodations for Transgender Students

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Transgender students may have to register with the school in order to use restrooms that reflect their gender identity.

Guam – Guam Education Board and Guam Department of Education officials met with principals from secondary schools to find out how the various schools have accommodated transgender students and with the new guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. DOE how the schools should move forward with policies to ensure that transgender students are not discriminated against. Some voiced their concerns regarding liability and how to address parents.

 

Astumbo Middle School Principal Kathryn San Nicolas says, “My worry…is that they’re still minors. How do we address parents? Imagine it’s a girls locker room, I have a transgender female come in, they’re all changing, genitals exposed. I have a sixth grade girl whose parents have not discussed these things and they see that. They go home and tell their parents and their parents come and they’re irate. We did have one incident where we had one child who really identified with the female gender. He was going to the female restroom. At that time, we went with anatomy so we asked him to please use the male restroom and he complied.”

Administrators say that for the most part, from their observation, students are accepting of transgender students.

FBLG Middle School Principal Robert Martinez says, “For the most part, they are comfortable, their peers are comfortable with their choice of gender that they choose. For the most part, there is only a very small percentage that get teased but for the most part, a lot of our students are acceptable to them from my observation when I see our students.”

Administrators from the various schools took a look at what policies and emerging practices some schools in the nation are already implementing and are taking some into consideration. Some of the examples include: 

In Alaska, transgender students or their parents or guardians should contact the administrator of counselor to schedule a meeting to develop a plan to address the student’s particular circumstances and needs. 
 
In the District of Columbia schools – “students may choose to have their parents participate in the transition process, but parental participation is not required”.
 
The Washoe County provides that “students shall have access to use facilities that correspond to their gender identity as expressed by the student and asserted at school, including, but not limited to locker rooms”.
 
Even when it comes to sports, in Los Angeles, “participation in competitive athletics, intramural sports, athletic teams, competitions and contact sports shall be facilitated in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity asserted at school” but will be determined by the California Interscholastic Federation.
 
In Maryland, schools eliminated gender-based sorting of students. Old Practice: boys line up here. New Practice: birthdays between January and June, or everybody who is wearing green, etc.
 
After the work session, GDOE Deputy Superintendent Chris Anderson says they’re working on focus groups that would help put the policies together and educate the community about the new policies.
 
GEB Member Peter Alecxis Ada says, “I don’t know whether or not we’ll be ready for the coming school year. My understanding is that we have to sign up and guarantee that we are going to be in complaint.”

1 COMMENT

  1. A majority of Americans in a new poll say they oppose President Obama’s order telling schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, rather than biological sex.
    Fifty-one percent of adults said they are against the decision, compared to 33 percent who are in favor and 16 percent who are undecided, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Tuesday.
    Parents of elementary and secondary school children are even more opposed to the mandate, which puts federal education dollars at risk for non compliant schools. Fifty-five percent of parents with school children said they oppose the order, while 32 percent said they support the decision.
    Americans also overwhelmingly believe the federal government should not be involved in regulating school bathroom access, with just 24 percent supporting regulations issued from Washington. Another 25 percent said the matter is best left to state governments, while a plurality, 41 percent, said it’s a matter best left to the local government.
    Although a majority of Americans oppose allowing transgender students access to the bathrooms of the opposite sex, the number has shifted significantly since the Obama administration became involved in the issue.
    In a poll conducted last November, 64 percent of Americans opposed allowing transgender students into the bathrooms of the opposite sex, compared to 21 percent in favor and 16 percent undecided.
    Mr. Obama issued legally nonbinding guidelines on Friday telling public schools to allow transgender students access to the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex. Schools that oppose the mandate risk losing millions in federal education dollars.
    By Bradford Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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