The Minnesota Department of Education has adopted a resource for teachers to use in classrooms to support transgender and gender-nonconforming students.
More than 200 supporters and opponents attended a meeting last Wednesday to share their thoughts. The guidelines were approved by the “School Safety Technical Assistance Council” by the end of the night.
The 11-page document, titled “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students,” aims to change school policies that prevent participation by all students.
It includes guidelines for the use of proper pronouns and preferred names by recommending that teachers use gender neutral terms whenever possible. This would mean the elimination of terms like “boys and girls,” and replacing it with “students” or “scholars.”
It also tackles the red-hot issue restroom availability. The authors suggest single-user restrooms be provided for students who do not want to share a restroom with transgender and gender-nonconforming students. However, this does not address locker rooms.
Other recommendations include supporting a family through a student’s transition and nominating “prom ambassadors” and “homecoming royalty” in place of prom or homecoming king and queen.
The guidelines will be implemented as a resource in all public and charter schools, grades k-12.
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