This is an educational series meant to distribute information about subjects of sexuality and gender orientations. This month will be covering the rights of transgender students in the school system. All of our information comes from Trans Equality.
Transgender people face a heavy amount of discrimination based on gender identity, and this is no different in educational settings. Transgender students may face bullying, harassment, threats, and violence from both fellow students, teachers, and faculty. Many states do not have explicit protections for transgender students, and the federal government has very little in place. However, Title IX’s protections, which ban sex-based discrimination, have been interpreted by the US Justice and Education departments, as well as various courts, to cover transgender and gender-nonconforming students.
Under Title IX, students have the right to be treated as the gender they identify with, and to be called by their name and pronouns. Schools do not have the right to demand legal or medical proof in order for student’s gender to be acknowledged. Students also have the right to not be bullied and to have the same educational opportunities regardless of gender, and students also may dress as they wish, as long as it follows the dress code for their gender. The right to use a restroom consistent with one’s gender is one that is currently being battled for across the nation, however, Title IX insists that trans students should hold this right. Federal law also states that transgender students have a right to privacy, meaning the school cannot disclose the status of a transgender person without the student’s permission, or without a legitimate reason not based on gender.
Even though under the current federal administration, transgender students face the threat of their rights being taken away, there are still some protections in place that can be used to ensure a positive experience for trans students.
This series is meant to be educational and to inform people of terminology. Gender and sexual identity are personal traits, and people may define themselves as they choose or may decide to not use labels. Stay tuned for the next installment of LGBTQIA+ in The Salemite!