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Redwood City SD |  AR  5157  Students

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + (LGBTQ+)   

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Purpose

The Board of Education strives to create and maintain a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for all students and to ensure that every student has equal access to the District's educational programs and activities. This regulation specifically advises RCSD staff regarding issues related to students of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

Definitions

These definitions are intended as functional descriptors rather than labels for any student. Students may or may not use these terms to describe themselves.

Gender: Socially determined characteristics, roles, behaviors, and attributes a society expects from and considers appropriate for males and females; these characteristics are often referred to as "feminine" and "masculine." Under California law, "gender" is defined to include a person's gender identity. (Cal. Ed. Code 210.7)

Gender Identity: A person's core, hard-wired internal sense of their own sex. Though our society traditionally recognized only two genders (male and female), understanding of gender has expanded beyond the binary to recognition of gender fluidity, inclusive of: agender, genderqueer, pangender, transgender, etc. All people have a gender identity.

Gender Expression: An individual's gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the individual's assigned sex at birth. (Education Code 210.7)

Gender Nonconforming: Displaying gender traits that are not consistent with stereotypical characteristics associated with one's sex assigned at birth, or others' perceptions of that sex. This term can be used to describe people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations about how boys and girls look or act.

Non-binary (also genderqueer): An individual whose gender identity or gender expression falls outside or in between the category of male or female. Non-binary and genderqueer are umbrella terms that include genderfluid, bigender and agender, among other gender identities. Individuals who identify with these terms may exhibit different gender expressions over time.

Cisgender: An individual whose gender identity aligns with their assigned sex at birth.

Transgender: An individual whose gender identity is different from that traditionally associated with the assigned sex at birth.

Agender (also genderless, non-gender and neutrois): An individual whose gender identity does not define them as having a particular sex or has a gender identity that is neutral.

LGBTQ+: An umbrella term that stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and represents inclusivity of many other identities in the community".

Sex Assigned at Birth: The sex designated by a physician, typically based on the appearance of the infant's body at birth.

Gender Marker: Letters that denote a person's sex. Gender markers most commonly appear on identity documents. Gender markers may not accurately reflect a transgender person's sex unless they were able to correct that designation with agency that issued the identity document.

Gender Support Plan: A document co-created with school staff, caregivers and the student to share understandings about the ways in which the LGBTQ+ student's authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school. (Refer to Appendix A for Gender Support Plan template.)

Gender Transition describes the experience by which a transgender individual brings their outer appearance into closer alignment with their gender identity. This may include changing their name, clothing, and hairstyle to be consistent with their gender identity.

Sexual Orientation: An individual's romantic or sexual attraction to people of the other and/or same gender. (Cal. Ed. Code 212.6) Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and asexual. Sexual orientation and gender identity are different. Transgender individuals, just like cisgender individuals, may identify with any sexual orientation.

Gender-based Harassment: Includes but is not limited to unwelcome or demeaning conduct or comments directed at or about an individual on the basis of actual or perceived gender, gender identity and gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, or other related personal characteristics, or on the basis of association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Intentionally calling a transgender person by their old name and pronouns is a form of harassment and will be treated as such. Gender-based harassment is a form of harassment on the basis of sex pursuant to the provisions in BP 5145.7 and AR 1312.3.

Scope

This regulation seeks to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, by prohibiting all discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender- identity, or gender expression. This regulation applies to stakeholders including, but are not limited to, English Learner Advisory Council, District English Learner Advisory Council, Parent Teacher Association, Parent Teacher Organization, and organizations providing services before, during, or after school including district personnel, as well as volunteers (Cal. Ed. Code 48900(r)).

Though an incident of alleged unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation or bullying as defined within this regulation may occur off campus, if the effects of the off-campus incident result in unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation or bullying at school that is sufficiently serious to interfere with or limit the targeted student's ability to participate in or benefit from the education program, the school must respond promptly and effectively to eliminate the harassment that occurs at school, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

This regulation also pertains to electronic acts or the creation or transmission originated on or off the school site, by means of an electronic device. "Electronic act" means the transmission, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager, of a communication, including but not limited to, any of the following:

1. A message, text, sound, or image.

2. A post on a social network internet web site including, but not limited to:

a. Posting to or creating a burn page. "Burn page" means an Internet web site created for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed above

b. Creating a credible impersonation of another actual pupil for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed above. "Credible impersonation" means to knowingly and without consent impersonate a pupil does for the purpose of bullying the pupil and such that another pupil would reasonably believe, or has reasonably believed, that the pupil was or is the pupil who was impersonated.

c. Creating a false profile for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed above. "False profile" means a profile of a fictitious pupil or a profile using the likeness or attributes of an actual pupil other than the pupil who created the false profile. (AR 5131.2)

Gender Support Plan/ Addressing a Student's Transition Needs

The responsibility for determining a student's gender identity rests with the student. A school shall accept a student's asserted gender identity. A school may not question or disregard the student's assertion of their gender identity.

When requested, a school site employee with knowledge of the student shall arrange a meeting with the student and, if appropriate, the student's parents/guardians to identify student needs, including transition-related issues, and develop a Gender Support Plan.

Gender Support Plan Components

Parent/Guardian Involvement including special considerations if parent/guardian is not supportive.

Confidentiality, Privacy and Disclosure of student's gender and the student's right to decide when and with whom the information is shared.

Student Safety that includes at least one adult on campus the student will go to and expectations if the student is not feeling safe.

Names, Pronouns and Student Records that includes name and gender marker for the student's identity documents. Information will include maintaining a student's privacy.

Use of Facilities to identify which restrooms the student will use, location for clothing changes if needed, and student access to facilities.

Extra Curricular Activities and supports needed for participation.

Other considerations that may include siblings, dress code, social dynamics with other students, and training that the school may need to build capacity for gender inclusive settings.

Support Plan Review and Revision to include when and who will monitor.

(cf. 5020 - Parent Rights and Responsibilities)

(cf. 6020 - Parent Involvement)

Privacy

District and school personnel shall not disclose a student's transgender status to others, including, but not limited to, other students, parents, and/or other school personnel, unless they are legally required to, or the student has authorized such disclosure, or there is a specific and compelling "need to know" in order to protect the transgender student's interests. In those rare circumstances where disclosure is deemed to be necessary, before making any disclosure, school officials should inform the transgender student of the need to disclose and provide them with the opportunity and resources they may need to make the disclosure themselves.

Care must be taken to protect student privacy. School personnel should not assume that a student who is "out" in some contexts (e.g. within a classroom) is "out" everywhere (e.g. on a sports team). School personnel should also not assume that a student who is "out" now (e.g. in middle school) would still want to be "out" in the future (e.g. high school). School personnel should work with students, if they desire, to develop a plan for "coming out" to their friends and teachers.

Names/Pronouns

Should a student or parent/legal guardian request to have the student addressed by a name and pronoun different from those given at birth, the school shall honor that request and set expectations for their consistent use. District and school officials may not require proof of a court-ordered name or gender change before honoring such a request. The District and schools will adapt the student information system to accommodate requested names and pronouns to prevent inadvertently revealing information that would violate the student's privacy.

While inadvertent slips or honest mistakes in the use of names or pronouns may occur at first, staff or students' intentional refusal to respect a student's gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun (sometimes called "misgendering") is discriminatory, a form of harassment, and a violation of this regulation.

School Records

The District shall maintain an official, permanent pupil record with the legal name and gender appearing on the student's birth certificate. Schools should use a transgender student's requested name and gender pronoun on all other school-related records or documents. This includes physical records and documents, diplomas and other certificates of advancement, electronic records and documents, and school IDs. Every effort should be made to update student records with the student's requested name and gender pronoun or gender marker, and not to circulate records with the student's assigned birth name or gender marker. Schools should also identify routine areas where a transgender student's privacy could be violated by the improper usage of the legal name and gender marker. These include but are not limited to pre-printed labels, standardized tests, student IDs or library cards, lunch tickets, school photos, notices from the main office, attendance slips, grade books, posted lists of student names, lesson plans, seating charts and roll sheets used by substitute teachers, and any other places where students' names are commonly written.

(cf. 3580 - District Records)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

When a student or parent/legal guardian presents the school with documentation of a court- ordered legal name and/or gender change, the school must then change the official, permanent pupil record, to reflect the student's new legal name and gender, in a timely manner.

Transgender students who transition after having graduated may ask their previous schools to amend school records or a diploma or transcript that include the student's birth name and gender. When requested, schools shall amend the student's record, including reissuing a diploma or transcript, to reflect the student's current name and gender, upon receipt of documentation of a legal name or gender change.

Restroom Availability

All students will be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice based on their gender identity. No student shall be compelled to use such a restroom or denied access to gendered restrooms for any reason: cisgender students, if they or their parents are concerned for their privacy, can choose to use available single-stall restrooms.

The District will convert all single-stall restrooms to gender-neutral restrooms, providing, at a minimum, one gender neutral bathroom for every campus which will be available to all students regardless of underlying reason. When possible, multi-building campuses should have a minimum of one gender-neutral bathroom per building to accommodate students. When possible, the District will take care that the manner and type of bathroom used will not isolate students who use them.

As a proactive measure, administrators should take steps to identify private gender- neutral restrooms on their campus, as well as to de-stigmatize the use of such private options.

Establishing clear guidelines and expectations with regards to students' physical privacy and boundaries is also important. Both can be reinforced through language in student handbooks, posted expectations, and thorough orientation and other processes for familiarizing students and guardians to the school and its facilities.

Locker Room Accessibility

Schools may maintain separate locker room facilities for male and female students. However, students shall have access to the locker room facility that corresponds to their gender identity.

If any student has a need or desire for increased privacy or safety, regardless of the underlying reason, when possible they may be provided access to a reasonable alternative changing area or locker room such as:

* Use of a private area in the public area of the locker room facility (i.e., a nearby restroom stall with a door, an area separated by a curtain, or a P.E. instructor's office in the locker room).

* A separate changing schedule (either utilizing the locker room before or after other students).

* Use of a nearby private area (i.e., a nearby restroom or a health office restroom).

However, use of such an alternative changing space shall be a matter of choice for a student, and no student shall be compelled to use such an alternative or denied access to gendered facilities for any reason. School administrators should also work to de-stigmatize the use of such options, as well as to establish clear guidelines and expectations with regard to respecting privacy and boundaries in changing areas and other close quarters.

Curriculum and Training

The Superintendent, or designee, shall ensure that students receive age-appropriate, accurate information and education related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The District will integrate LGBTQ+ historical and fictional figures into the curriculum and library collection in an age appropriate manner.

In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall designate qualified individuals to provide appropriate training and educational programs on the issue of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

The district will work with outside programs to be sure that they have the ability to comply with the district's LGBTQ+ policy and the District's standards of training and facilities prior to students attending field trips as part of the general education curriculum.

School Activities and Classes

Transgender students shall be permitted to participate in all activities in a manner consistent with their gender identity.

School sites shall avoid segregating students by gender (e.g. arranging seating charts by alternating boy/girl). Gender segregation is a source of undue stress for transgender, non-binary, agender and gender non-conforming students. Segregating by gender also draws attention to the gender identity of these students, which can lead to harassment. Gender-neutral language should be adopted (e.g. lead/follow for dance partners) to avoid stigmatizing students.

All school and PTO sponsored activities such as dances, sports events, field trips, etc. will not exclude students based on gender identity. The district will work with outside programs and contractors to be sure that they have the ability to comply with the district's LGBTQ+ policy.

Overnight Fieldtrips

Students should be assigned accommodations in a manner consistent with their gender identity. If an LGBTQ+ student does not feel safe with such an arrangement, school staff shall work with the student to arrange alternative accommodations. "Privacy" concerns from cisgender students or their parents shall not serve as justification for isolating transgender students or otherwise treating them differently.

Sports and Physical Education Classes

Transgender students shall be permitted to participate in physical education classes, intramural sports, and competitive athletic activities in a manner consistent with their gender identity. This is consistent with California and federal law as well as the policies established by the California Interscholastic Federation. (CIF Bylaws 300(D)).

Co-ed sports and physical education classes should not segregate students by gender for the formation of teams, dance partners, etc. Such segregation promotes sexist and heteronormative gender stereotypes in addition to being a source of undue stress for transgender, non-binary, agender and gender non-conforming students.

Dress Codes/School Uniform Policies

All students have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity and gender expression. School dress code and uniform policies shall be gender-neutral, and shall not restrict students' clothing choices on the basis of gender or traditional stereotypes about what males and females "should" wear.

Harassment and Bullying

Complaints and reports, whether made orally or in writing alleging unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation or bullying based on a student's gender identity, gender expression, or gender nonconformity shall be addressed pursuant to the Uniform Complaint Procedures.

The following position is designated Compliance Officer for Nondiscrimination to handle complaints regarding unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, retaliation or bullying and to answer inquiries regarding the district's nondiscrimination policies: (Education Code 234.1; 5 CCR 4621)

Regulation REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: December 12, 2018 Redwood City, California