Locker Room 3

Red Clay to consider transgender policy during Wednesday meeting

Charles MegginsonEducation, Headlines

Locker Room

Photo by Carol Thacker, Getty Images Signature.

Red Clay Consolidated School District will consider policy changes relating to its transgender and gender-diverse students during a board meeting Wednesday. 

The board meeting is open to the public and will take place at Richardson Park Elementary School, located at 16 Idella Avenue in Wilmington.

The meeting will also be streamed online. The public comment portion of the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. 

A form to sign up to provide public comment is available here.

If approved, Board Policy 8005 would allow transgender and gender-diverse students access to the restroom that corresponds with the gender identity they “consistently assert” at school. 

Under the proposed policy, any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy will be provided access to a single-stall restroom, but no student will be required to use such a restroom.

The policy notes that questions of restroom accessibility will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The use of locker rooms by a transgender or gender-diverse student shall also be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“A transgender or gender diverse student shall have access to the locker room that corresponds to the student’s gender identity consistently asserted at school,” the policy reads. “Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy shall be provided with a reasonable alternative arrangement such as the use of a private changing area or a separate changing schedule.”

While the policy would permit students to participate in physical education classes and intramural sports corresponding with their gender identity, athletes on interscholastic competitive sports teams will still have to abide by the policy set by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s board of directors.

Under DIAA policy, transgender students are eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics in a manner consistent with their gender identity under any of the following conditions: 

  • The student provides an official record, such as a revised birth certificate, a driver’s license or a passport, demonstrating legal recognition of the student’s reassigned sex.
  • A physician or social service provider certifies that the student has had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to the reassigned sex.
  • A physician or social service provider certifies that the student is in the process of transitioning to the reassigned sex.

Red Clay’s draft policy also asserts that information about a student’s transgender status, legal name, or gender assigned at birth may constitute confidential information. 

“School personnel shall not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status or gender diverse presentation to others, including other students, and other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure,” the policy says. 

Under the policy, transgender and gender-diverse students will “have the right to discuss and express their gender identity openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information.”

When contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender or gender diverse student, school personnel will be compelled to use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise.

While the district is required to maintain a mandatory permanent pupil record that includes a student’s legal name and gender assigned at birth, it is not required to use a student’s legal name and gender assigned at birth on other school records or documents.

Under the proposed policy, the district will change a student’s official record to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of proper documentation that such change has been made pursuant to a court order. 

In situations where school staff or administrators are required by law to use or to report a transgender or gender diverse student’s legal name or gender assigned at birth, school staff and administrators will be required to adopt practices to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of such confidential information.

The policy also asserts that students have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression and that complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived transgender status or gender diversity are to be handled in the same manner as other discrimination or harassment complaints.

If approved, the policy would take effect Thursday. 

Click here to view the draft policy in its entirety.

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