A third-grade girl had to switch schools to find an administration that acknowledged her as transgender. She isn't the first student who's hit that snag.
She now gets to use her female name and preferred pronouns. She doesn't have to fear wearing the clothing she's comfortable in or using the girls' bathroom.
But neither her old school nor her new one thinks they need to create transgender specific policies.
With young students, a case-by-case basis system can help personalize an individual's school needs. But general school rules against harassment are not necessarily enough to ensure them administrative support.
Strong transgender policy language gives guidelines for approaching dress codes, bathroom use, and sports participation. Good policies also neutralize learning environments, which benefits students who could otherwise fall prey to harassment or discrimination.
Specific policies create a safety net for all children. Tell Nashua to create district-wide transgender school policies!
I'm pleased with the new school placement granted to the third-grade girl whose parents requested a more accepting school environment. However, the baseless claim that general harassment policies will stifle backlash or discrimination need to be reevaluated.
Transgender students often struggle when policies are not in place that address dress code, bathroom use, sports participation, and other forms of gender expression such as pronoun usage. They are also especially vulnerable to overlooked forms of bullying, and may not know how to properly address uncomfortable situations.
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To avoid future legal disputes as well as to make Nashua schools as safe and supportive of all students as possible, I urge you to create specific policies addressing transgender students.
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