The Oregon School Boards Association released this month some state guidelines to schools in order to provide a framework on how to treat transgender students. The document includes rules for the bathrooms, management of the names and the recommendations towards the selection of sports teams, among other issues that could be tense for school authorities while dealing with transgender students.
The document, named “Guidance to School Districts: Creatin a Safe and Supportive School Environment for Transgender Students” was issued on May 5, and it is created upon the legal basis of Oregon law, that states:
A person may not be subjected to discrimination in any public elementary, secondary or community college education program or service, school or interschool activity or in any higher education program or service, school or interschool activity where the program, service, school or activity is financed in whole or in part by moneys appropriated by the Legislative Assembly.”
Districts across the State expressed both agreement and disagreement with the document. It definitely raised questions in most school’s districts. Even in some institutions with previous procedures related to the transgender student’s rights expressing questions about the guidelines.
Parents have also been involved with the guidelines. At some communities, parents have expressed concern since the path provided to protect transgender students may provide at the same time the possibility harm or violate other student’s rights. A radical group even claimed that Oregon School districts were bullied with the guidelines, considering that the document instead of legal advice, provides pressure to fulfill a wrong interpretation of the Title IX of the Constitution, made by the federal government.
The nature of the guidelines
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) May 22, 2016
The response of the Oregon School Boards Association was that the goal is to encourage districts to implement non-discrimination policies and protect all students, including those who belong to a special gender group. The Oregon Department of Education added that most guidelines are based upon existing laws binding to School Districts across the State. However, the ODE stated that the guidelines are not meant as a legal instrument, but considering the federal position among the non-discrimination law structure, it may be useful for the districts to consider these guidelines in order to not get affected by the federal funding changes.
However, the ODE stated that the guidelines are not meant as a legal instrument, but considering the federal position among the non-discrimination law structure, it may be useful for the districts to consider these guidelines in order to not get affected by the federal funding changes. Also, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Education stated that School Districts should consider not only these guidelines but the federal laws, where the US Department of Civil Rights have jurisdiction.
Transgender rights are in the center of the country’s culture issues right now and Oregon is one of the first states to take the lead in regulating the situation. The document suggests school authorities use the student’s preferred names, even when it differs from the legal name, which translates into the use of the preferred name of the student in diplomas and even transcripts, without the need of proof.
Source: Oregon Live