The New York City Department of Education has adopted basic guidelines for transgender students regarding several key issues these students face every day. For starters, they will now be addressed by their preferred name and gender. School-issued IDs will also reflect the student's preferences. They won't be required to use a restroom or locker room that conflicts with their gender identity, though the DOE advises that teachers should take into consideration the safety of other students while implementing this particular portion of the guidelines. Teachers received resources on how to help a transitioning student and how to stop any related bullying. Educators will develop age-appropriate lessons about gender diversity in the coming weeks.
Even though these are all pioneering efforts for LGBT rights, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund worries there's a lack of clarity about some items. For example, transgender students will be allowed to play competitive sports on a case-by-case basis. TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman argues schools need to give transgender students the same opportunities as the other students.
Though the DOE still has issues to address, this is a huge step forward. And, we hope, a standard-setting moment for other school districts around the country. (Gothamist)