Gender Spectrum Releases, “Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions” - Endorsed by a Coalition of National Education Organizations

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Resource is endorsed and supported by the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals

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While this may be new to some educators, parents, and students, this document builds on the successful experiences of educators throughout the country who have skillfully implemented gender inclusive policies, including those related to bathrooms.

Gender Spectrum has released, “Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions” a new resource to help educators work with their community as they create inclusive bathroom policies. This downloadable PDF addresses common questions that arise at the school and district level.

This resource is endorsed and supported by the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Having support at school and acknowledging a student’s right to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity is critical. A negative school experience not only hinders a transgender student's academic achievement and growth, but can also interfere with their long-term health and well-being.

● 75.1% of transgender students feel unsafe at school because of their gender expression*
● 63.4% of transgender students reported avoiding bathrooms*
● 41% of transgender or gender non-conforming people have attempted suicide**

“While this may be new to some educators, parents, and students, this document builds on the successful experiences of educators throughout the country who have skillfully implemented gender inclusive policies, including those related to bathrooms,” said Joel Baum, Senior Director of Professional Development and Family Services at Gender Spectrum. “Enacting these policies allows school leaders to support the needs of all students.“

Organizations that endorsed the document shared the following:

“It is critically important to maintain a positive school culture where all students feel included and respected, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression. Education leaders should use this guide to ensure the safety and well-being of every student in their learning communities.” – Executive Director, Gail Connelly - National Association of Elementary School Principals

“NASP supports efforts to ensure that schools are safe and inclusive learning environments for all students. The Transgender Students and School Bathrooms Frequently Asked Questions resource provides much needed information to guide educators in the development of inclusive bathroom policies for transgender and gender expansive youth.” – Director of Educational Practice, Mary Beth Klotz, PhD, NCSP; National Association of School Psychologists

“Schools leaders must create the conditions in which each student feels comfortable so each can learn at high levels. Given the high rates of harassment of transgender youth, we have to make a particular effort to safeguard them so nothing gets in the way of their learning.” – President, Michael Allison - National Association of Secondary School Principals

“The American School Counselor Association believes the current discussions about transgender students are not about restrooms and locker rooms. They are about discrimination. Schools must fight discrimination by teaching students to be tolerant of others and by advocating against policies and practices that create barriers for certain segments of the student population. ASCA is confident the Gender Spectrum resource Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions will help schools accomplish these goals.” – Richard Wong, Executive Director

Recent debate about bathroom access highlights the need for guidance from people who have worked with students in this setting. “Many individual schools and entire school districts have already enacted gender-inclusive bathroom policies that support all students. These policies have been in place without incident,” said Lisa Kenney, Executive Director at Gender Spectrum. “This resource can help school leaders who are working hard to create environments where all students can succeed.”

To learn more information, please visit:
https://www.genderspectrum.org/BathroomFAQ

ABOUT GENDER SPECTRUM
Gender Spectrum is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that works nationwide to educate individuals, families, communities, and institutions seeking to strengthen or create gender inclusive environments for all youth. For more information, please visit http://www.genderspectrum.org.

Sources:

  • Kosciw et al, The 2013 National School Climate Survey, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

** Haas A, Rodgers P, Herman J. Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 2014.

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