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Running head: Transgender Bathroom and Locker Room Policies in Schools 1

Transgender Bathroom and Locker Room Policies in Schools

Kyle J. Woodruff, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director

Central Michigan University Global Campus

EDL 775: Educational Policy Analysis



Societal norms shape us into what it is or what it means to be a man or a woman. Going

back to my childhood it was sports and Pro-Wrestling. Looking up to iconic, larger than life

figures and idolizing to one day be like them. My family made it very clear what it was like to

be a man, and you never wanted to be called out for being a girl. My experiences are typical

and are pressed on boys and girls at a very early age. Boys given trucks and tool sets, girls given

dolls and easy-bake ovens. This was the society that I grew up in. I am 28 years old and have

only been involved in education for four years. However, things are drastically different from

when I was in school.

While students who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual have been around for a long time

and is nothing new, the buzz in the mainstream media today is the term transgender. A

transgender student is a person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were given at

birth. According to national survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education

Network (GLSEN), roughly 75% of students who identify as transgender feel unsafe at schools

(GLSEN, 2016). As students are going through school and begin to discover their sexuality,

ways in which to accommodate transgender students and make them feel safe is a rising issue

from the local level, all the way to the national level. This paper will look at the national

guidelines from the Obama and Trump Administration, state policies/guidelines, and how

schools and districts in our area have changed to accommodate transgender students. Through

research and review this paper will help to answer the question as to what rights transgender

students should have when choosing a bathroom or changing facilities in school districts.

Policy Research: National Level

In May of 2016, then President Barack Obama issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL)

addressing the hot button topic of transgender students in schools. In this letter the President

discussed how Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual discrimination in

educational programs that receive Federal Financial Assistance (DCL, 2016). President Obama

and his team also clarified that this extends beyond biological characteristics of sex and includes

a persons gender identity. The DCL explained a variety of circumstances in which a school

would be evaluated by The Department of Education to ensure that schools were following the

guidelines in accordance with Federal Regulations and to make sure they were following those


The hot button issue of bathrooms and locker room were addressed directly in the DCL

and the language is as follows:

A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender

students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity. A school may not require

transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-

user facilities when other students are not required to do so. A school may, however, make

individual-user options available to all students who voluntarily seek additional privacy (DCL,


Fast forward to February of 2017, and Trump administration, passes an order to rescind

the guidelines made by President Obama. To be specific it was the Justice and Education

department under President Trump that rescinded the order on the basis that the previous

guidelines lacked a comprehensive legal analysis of Title IX or explain how the position is

consistent with the expressive language of Title IX (NPR, 2017). States like New Hampshire,

Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina have begun to reconstruct their laws to restrict the rights of

transgender students. With a country divided on the issue it is clear a direction is needed and it

starts at the top.

States have decided to take a more inclusive approach. An article by The Register Guard

reports that the Oregon Department of Education sent out a 15 page document in 2016, allowing

transgender students to play on sports teams, use locker rooms, changing facilities, and have

preferred names be put on graduation diplomas. Salam Noor, Oregons Deputy Superintendent

of Public Instruction, says even though President Trump is rescinding the Obama

Administrations letter, Oregon schools will not be changing a thing (Roemeling, 2017). Studies

support the motion by the Oregon Department of Education. According to GLSEN, 53% of

individuals who identify as transgender are physically harassed, and nearly half of transgender

students have reported being physically assaulted according to the study. (GLSEN, p.18). With

high numbers is categories as serious as physical harassment and assault, it is clear that

transgender students who are struggling internally are also experiencing outside threats from

their peers. Schools can offer support for this by implementing more trans-inclusive

environments such as schools in Oregon have.

Research: The State Perspectives

With no clear direction at the Federal level many states have taken the matter of

transgender bathroom rights into their own hands. I have analyzed three different states laws,

and or bill proposals. There are many similarities and also many differences in what is

suggested. In a study by the National School Climate Survey (2015), reported that they most

commonly avoid school bathrooms and locker rooms because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable

in those spaces. With such a national spotlight on bathrooms and locker room use for

transgender students, I felt it necessary to look at some state litigation or pending litigation.


In the middle of all the controversy, the state with possibly the biggest microscope

underneath it is the State of Texas. Known as Senate Bill 6, the proposal looks to restrict

bathroom use a persons biological sex. The State of Texas defines biological sex as the physical

condition of being male or female, which is stated on a persons birth certificate (Senate Bill

NO.6, 2016). The Senate Bill goes on to discuss the role of the school district and how it shall

handle students whose gender identity differs from what is on their birth certificate.

A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall adopt a policy requiring each

multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility accessible to students that is located in a

school or school facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on the persons

biological sex (Senate Bill NO.6, 2016).

This makes it clear what school districts would be expected to do if this bill were to pass.

Senate Bill 6 would allow for accommodations to be made such as allowing a student to use a

single-occupancy bathroom or a controlled use of a faculty bathroom. However, this would have

to be at the request of the student. The bill continues this same type of restriction for any state

agency in Texas as well.

Texas does underline a few exceptions with Senate Bill 6. A person is allowed to go into

a bathroom that does not align with their biological sex as indicated on their birth certificate if it


For a custodial purpose;

For maintenance or inspection purpose;
To render medical or other emergency assistance;

To accompany a student needing assistance in using the facility; if the

assisting person is:

o An employee or authorized volunteer of the school district or open

enrollment charter school; or

o The students parent, guardian, conservator, or authorized caregiver;
To accompany a person other than a student needing assistance in using the

facility; or
To receive assistance using the facility (Senate Bill NO.6, 2016).

Senate Bill 6 also outlines a procedure for filing a complaint against a school district or state

agency that is not following the proposed law.

This Bill does not come without its opposition. In March of 2017, the Senate State

Affairs Committee voted 8-1 to move the bathroom bill to the full chamber. This was after a

13 hour testimonial largely against the bill and it being possibly introduced as law (Ura, 2017).

Currently, the Texas bill is in the House and it appears to be losing its momentum according to

the Dallas Dailey News.


California. Known for its warm weather, sunshine, and A-list clientele. However,

California is also known for being ahead of the curve, and the issue with transgender bathroom

laws is no exception. In 2013 a bill was introduced and in 2014 it became law. Known as

Assembly Bill 1266 (AB 1266), I looked into the Senate Analyses done by the Senate Rules

Committee in California.

This bill requires a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs,

activities, and facilities including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his/her gender

identity, regardless of the gender listed on the pupils records (AB 1266, 2013).

In the Bill, existing law is discussed and a stance is taken that no pupil can be

discriminated against on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion,

sexual orientation or any other classification that can be identified as a hate crime (AB 1266,

2013). This makes it clear that no pupil can be discriminated against based on their gender or

gender identity.

Although California seems to be the leading state for transgender rights in America, that

doesnt mean that this law has not been meant without its opposition. According to the, in March of 2014 Gina Gleason, director of faith and public policy at Calvary

Chapel Chapino Hills, served Secretary of State Debra Brown with a referendum of over 131,000

signatures in an effort to retract the 2014 California law known as AB 1266 (Yarbrough, 2014).

Opponents of the bill claim that it allows the opportunity for members of the opposite sex to

gawk individuals at their most vulnerable, and allow for boys that identify as girls to dominate

high school sports. However, proponents of the bill point to the Los Angeles and San Francisco

Unified School district. These school districts have had transgender bathroom rights intact for

over a decade and they have never reported an issue when it comes to students violating or

taking advantage of bathroom rights or sports (Yarbrough, 2014).


The mitten state seems to playing policy ping pong when it comes to the rights of

transgender students. When President Obama in 2016 sent his guidelines of his departments

interpretation of Title IX and the schools obligation to follow his interpretations in order to

continue to receive federal funding, it seemed to be very clear. Soon after President Obama sent

those guidelines to schools because of the schools desperately wanting and needing guidance, the

State Board of Education sent out very similar guidelines to Michigan schools. The guidelines

outlined what schools can do to help accommodate students who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-

sexual, transsexual, or queer (LGBTQ).

The first of those guidelines where what schools can do to make a more inclusive school

structure of LGBTQ students such as staff professional development, formation of student-led

clubs, development of anti-bullying policies, and LGBTQ topics across the curriculum (SBE,

2016). Along with the ways to make staff and policies more inclusive for LGBTQ students. The

State Board of Education also touched on the popular bathroom and locker room

accommodations for transgender students. Below is an excerpt from the State Board of

Education February 2016 discussing the way school should handle accommodations for

transgender students when it comes to bathrooms and locker rooms. The direction that the State

Board of Education resembles that of the California law mentioned above, and mirrors the

guidelines by President Obama. A snapshot or President Obamas guidelines are below as well.

Michigan State Board of Education Guidelines:

President Obama Dear Colleague Letter Guidelines:


While the State Board of Education and Michigan Department of Education agree with

allowing the rights for transgender students, that doesnt mean that it isnt meant without

opposition. Opponents of transgender bathroom rights are attempting to keep transgender pupils

out of bathrooms that doesnt match their biological sex.

Republican Senator Tom Casperson has proposed a bill into the Michigan Senate known

as Senate Bill NO.993 (SB 993). This bill would require students and the students parent or

legal guardian to submit a letter in writing for accommodations to be made if a students gender

identity doesnt align with his or her biological sex. This bill discusses what is considered

reasonable accommodations as one that:

Does not impose and undue hardship on a school district;

May not include the use of a pupil restroom, locker room, or shower room

designated for use by pupils of the opposite biological sex if pupils of the

opposite sex are present or could be present.

A reasonable accommodation may include:

A single-occupancy restroom;
A unisex restroom; or
A controlled use of a restroom, locker room, or shower room that is

designated for use by a faculty (SB 993, 2016).

According to the Detroit Free Press, Senate members are not planning to put this Bill as a

top priority. That is not something that deflated the Republican Senator from Escanaba to

introduce the Bill. Republican Tom Casperson believes that his proposal provides reasonable

accommodations for students who identify as transgender. However, Amy Hunter who is a

liaison for the ACLU feels that the accommodations are far from reasonable and plans to fight

the proposal Democrats in the Senate feel the Bill is discriminatory and dangerous for students

who are already considered largely at risk and singled out (Gray, 2016).

Cost and Benefit of Approaches

In evaluating research it appears that a trans-inclusive environment is one that has the

most positive impact for all students and ensuring the safety for all members of a school district

and not just ones that fall into a category we define as normal. In allowing a trans-inclusive

environment you provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the culture and issues

that some transgender students face. Stemming from that understanding you allow meaningful

relationships to be built and the development of critical consciousness to take effect, which

allows for students to develop an in-depth understanding of the world (DePedro, Jackson,

Campbell, Gilley and Ciarelli, 2016). Those who side with allowing gender identity to define

which bathroom you choose is that the possibility of sexual assault. Advocates of the

transgender bathroom rights feel that you are more likely to feel objectified if you are forced to

share a bathroom or changing facility with someone who has identified as being attracted to the

same sex (Kaiser, Seitz, Walters, 2014).

During the cost and benefit analysis of this project I interviewed three individuals in my

school district. My goal is to pilot my school for such a program policy implementation and

interviewing members of my school district was a way for me to begin to have high authority

figures begin thinking about the policy. In each of my interviews the message was very similar.

The school district needs to provide protection for all students (Woodruff, personal interview,

March 17, 2017). One of our school board members discussed the process it may take for unisex

bathrooms to be used and things to consider when attempting to accommodate one specific group

of students.

We must take into consideration our rural districts that are trying to maintain a good

education to all students. It is not just a simple task or undergoing to say alright we can

accommodate for gender identity students. Districts cannot just go in and add bathrooms to

school buildings on a whim. It costs money, it takes planning, and it takes plumbing,

engineering & electrical to encompass something like a family use bathroom (Woodruff

personal interview, March 17, 2017).

These types of concerns are legitimate and need to be taken into account. According to

Alejandro Ortiz, founding architect of the prolific Ortiz Architects of Los Angeles. Considering

that layout changes may be necessary for smaller businesses that dont have the space to simply

rededicate other bathrooms, this cost could range between $20,000 up to $50,000 (Campbell,

2016). These type of costs raise major concerns and should be taken into account when

considering adopting a policy that is trans-inclusive in regards to bathrooms and facilities.

Of course that is if schools decide to create more unisex bathrooms. If schools simply

allow transgender students to choose the bathroom which they identify then cost of installing

private stalls and curtains could be made very minimal and support all student in the attempts for

students to have that sense of privacy while in the restrooms, or changing facilities.

Equity, Diversity and Democratic Values

This issue appears to be split which is why so much attention has surrounded. Both sides

on the policy issue are reacting to the issue and others, like that state of California, and have been

proactive in establishing where it stands on student rights. The issues of equity and diversity are

extremely relevant in this case. Proponents for transgender rights, want students to not be further

singled out and want to give those students the freedom to choose what bathroom they identify

with. Others want to protect the rights of students who are not transgender, and feel that anti-

bullying policies and other supports are in place to help transgender students accommodate, but

that doesnt stretch to bathroom rights according to opponents. Title IX is foggy in this area as

well. Title IX states:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation

in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or

activity receiving Federal financial assistance (Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of


To some states sex includes sexual orientation, and gender identity. However, other

states look at the literal meaning of the law and see the word sex as it is defined which is the

biological makeup that we are assigned at birth. This makes the debate even more heated and

will likely be settled by the Supreme Court to interpret the Title IX law.

The issue boils down to interpretation. While amendments like the Fourteenth

Amendment guarantees equal protection for all, and laws like Title IX guarantee no

discrimination based on sex, most of those who oppose accommodating gender neutral

bathrooms or allowing a student to choose a bathroom that they identify with only are further

segregating schools. According to Maria Newhouse, schools are sending a clear message to

transgender students about who fits in, who is accepted and who is not and can be incredibly

impactful to identity development (Newhouse, 2013). Newhouse all discusses how many

individuals and institutions do not have full blown aggressions towards the transgender

community, but rather a phenomena known as microaggressions. These microaggressions are

unconscious forms of prejudice and discrimination. The microaggressions take multiple forms

including a school climate, students pointing and starring at a transgender student, and by

ignoring these types of aggression then we only send the message that these transgender rights

are not important and we must look to conform a safe haven for these students and accommodate

policy that invites these students to feel safe and comfortable at school.


As the country remains grounded in litigation and rural communities are divided on the

issue, the content of such a proposal remains to be a difficult one. School districts such as the

Los Angeles Unified School District have adopted this policy for years and there has never been

an issue where a student or group of students have violated this policy. In our school districts we

teach students to be tolerant and appreciative of other cultures, religions, and all around

differences. We are taught to embrace the differences of others and accept differences whether

we agree with them or not. The world we live in is ever changing and evolving. While our

differences may be noticed more than ever now a days we must send the correct message to our

students that we are accepting of those differences and embrace the qualities that make a student


Not adopting a transgender bathroom policy, and mandating that students must use

bathrooms related to their biological sex, then we are inadvertently supporting out casting people

because they are different. Our subconscious behavior and mandating of such a policy would

only undermine the very philosophy we are trying to teach. It would be my opinion that our

school district adopt a trans-inclusive policy based on the research discussed.

Implementing a policy can be a very trick situation. The research of Frances Fowler have

helped with identifying several instruments to use when implementing policy changes. The

policy instruments I chose for the implementation of policy for allowing transgender students to

choose which bathroom they want based on their gender identity was mandates, and hortatory

policy instruments.


Mandates as policy instruments encompass two components. The first, is language that

spells out required behavior for all people in a specific social group, and the second is a

prescribed penalty for those who fail to comply (Fowler, 2013). I feel this is one of the best

policy instruments to use because schools needs a written policy in regards to students who

identify as transgender. Without a formal policy it can leave schools open to interpretation and

possible litigation as it has in the case of Gavin Grimm v. The Gloucester County School Board.

Gavin was a high school student in Virginia. He is a transgender boy and as a 10th grader

began to transition. During the transition phase the school allowed Gavin to use the boys

bathroom for a period of two months. After complaints from parents and the community began

to come in, the school decided to adopt a policy that was approved by the school board, to only

allow students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms based on their biological sex. Gavin and

his parents felt that this was unconstitutional and sued the school board for violations of Gavins

Fourteenth amendment and Title IX rights. The district court dismissed Gavins case, and it was

appealed to the U.S Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit court where the lower courts decisions was

overturned in favor of Gavin. The Gloucester County School Board then appealed to the United

States Supreme Court. The U.S Supreme Court has since sent the decision back to the Fourth

Circuit Court and has asked the courts to take into account the Department of Education and

Department of Justice rescinding of the President Obama Guidelines that was the basis of the

Court of Appeals decision (G.G v. Gloucester County School Board, 2016).


This case is a prime example of not having a policy that is concrete. By allowing Gavin

to use the restroom and then allowing the community pressure to influence policy, leaves much

to question in regards to the basis and nature of such a policy and could leave the Gloucester

County School Board in a very big hole when a decision is finally reached.

Allowing for a written policy or language to be in board policy and in the handbook

allows for it to be clear and concise and by default, any violation of that policy is clear and

concise, which would put the school at possible grounds for litigation.

Hortatory Policy Instrument

The hortatory policy instrument described in the Fowler text, discusses how a policy

based on hortatory ideology is one that is persuasive in nature and uses a variety of symbolism

and imagery in order to gain support for its cause (Fowler, 2013). I felt that this policy was

appropriate as an implementation method in the beginning stages because it has the potential to

gain support and persuade staff, students, and community members. I feel the hortatory policy

instrument is essential in implementation of transgender student bathroom and changing facility

rights in school districts and potentially in our school district as well.

Fowler also discusses in chapter 9 how when political support is weak, a hortatory policy

is one that has the best chance of success if that support is weak (Fowler, 2013). A main

component would be to raise awareness through small curriculum integration in subject areas,

working with the School Improvement Team. Introduction to such topics can lead to a better

awareness and less stigma on LGBTQ students in general.

Target Audience

My target audience are the students, staff, administration, school board, and community

members of Farwell as well as administrators from our area RESD. Attempting to persuade this

very conservative group(s) will be my biggest challenge. That is why I feel that hortatory

method would be the best method to begin my campaign for support and persuade individuals to

understand that we live in an ever changing world and our school is attempting to change with

the times. The plan would be to first open the idea for discussion at the RESD level with other

administrators. This topic was on the agenda at our last meeting and it was something that we

never had gotten to. So, I would request that the topic be on the agenda again and from there I

would walk administrators through the Educational Policy website and discuss my topic via the

portal on the website. Allowing this easy access for administrators to not only view my topic but

other topics of educational policy would be something beneficial to all administrators and

something that they would appreciate.

The Time Is Now

In a report by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), when it comes

to school safety and experiences of harassment and assault, 69% of transgender students felt

unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (GLSEN, 2009). A staggering 89% of

transgender students were verbally harassed in the past year due to their sexual orientation and

gender expression (GLSEN, 2009). These numbers are staggering and my district as well as

many others across the country have strict policies against harassment and bullying, many of

these cases go unreported because students do not want to be potentially further objectified to

being separated from their peer groups and being made a social outcast further (GLSEN, 2009).

Transgender students are significantly more likely to attempt or complete suicide. In fact,

one out of every two people who identify as transgender have contemplated suicide, and one out

of every four have attempted suicide (Watson, 2016). This concept of transgender is not new but

in regards to law it is something that is evolving and has been a challenge for the courts to rule

one way or the other.

The Department of Education (DOE) has taken a strong stance under the Obama

administration to define and interpret Title IX and the term sex to include gender identity.

However, federal courts have more so been leaning toward disagreeing with the DOE and many

federal courts have upheld school policies to restrict transgender bathroom use and facility use to

the students sex at birth. A number of states do not allow people who are transgender use

bathrooms based their identity, but there biological sex and law and rulings have supported that

segregation of bathroom facilities is legal and non-discriminatory.

Many schools have laws prohibiting harassment as I stated earlier, my school district is

one of them. However, an argument can be made that by not allowing students to choose a

bathroom that matches their identity then we further segregate them from being able to conform

with the gender group in which they identify with, by not allowing this to happen school districts

further subject that transgender student to feeling like a social outcast and are in fact

subconsciously, for lack of a better term, alienating these students and increasing the likelihood

to be bullied or harassed. In work by GLSEN (2016), 9 out of 10 students that identify as

transgender, feel excluded or deliberately left out by other peers, and 62% report being electronic

harassment or cyberbullying outside of school. It is clear that implementing such a policy

extend far beyond the walls at school, and can drastically effect the life of a transgender student

outside of school walls. Many school districts, like in New York, have students and parents fill

out documentation that transitions that student into becoming whatever sex he or she decides

they want to be and according to the DOE report on Example of Policies and Emerging Practices

for Supporting Transgender Students, school districts such as New York have their students fill

out the proper paperwork and as long as the parents and students have submitted the proper paper

work to where the student is now being classified by the gender he or she wishes, then that

student now has access to all facilities that the gender would entail, including bathroom or

changing room facilities (NYCRR 466.13). A policy like this is proactive and provides an

avenue where all students can feel comfortable and be successful in school.

According to the Journal of College Admissions (2013), is average age for a student

coming out and being open to their gender identity is age 16. Typical students at that age are

struggling with dating, school, sports, and just finding their place in the world. Now add not

feeling comfortable in your own skin because you struggle with accepting your gender identity

and even more so feeling like no one will accept your identity, including your school district

where everything is supposed to be safe and providing you the best accommodations to learn.

Steps for Implementation

The steps for implementing this type of policy is one that really needs to be handled with

care and delicacy. My school district tends to be more conservative, and because of that

implementing such a policy will take a couple years. As I discussed earlier the first stages would

be a hortatory approach for implementations. Currently, we are addressing standards in health

education aimed toward certain aspects of fitness, dietary guidelines, and sex education. It has

been district policy in the high school for many years to focus on these aspects of health when

teaching such subject matter. Our health curriculum has not discuss sexual orientation or gender

identity issues. This would be my first step in implementation. To raise awareness on the issue

and allow students to understand the struggles of a student who is transgender or struggling with

gender identity.

Another step would be to try and include transgender issues across the curriculum. For

example along with the health discussion students would be having students read a book in

English about a boy or girl who struggles with gender identity and are expected to engage in a

paper or some sort of exercise where they have to put their thoughts on paper. Having a

curriculum night would be another step to where we begin to take the steps to introduce these

inclusive curriculum strategies to the parents. As an administrator it would be important to have

a staff meeting to prep them on this and prepare to defend the curriculum choices and why

implementing trans-inclusive or LGBTQ subject matter is important in raising critical

consciousness (DePedro, Jackson, Campbell, Gilley, and Ciarelli, 2016).

An article by the Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2016), discusses

how an inclusive learning environment needs to be developed through critical consciousness.

The steps of developing critical consciousness involve the opportunity for a person to observe

and reject oppressions in society. An example of this would be our health teacher showing a

video of a transgender student who was killed by a classmate, and or an interview with a

transgender student who speaks out about his or her experience with bullying. This develops

sympathy for the victim and helps students and potentially parents begin to be more open to the

idea of curriculum integration and potentially policy change, down the road (DePedro, Jackson,

Campbell, Gilley, and Ciarelli, 2016). This type of critical consciousness development goes

along with the hortatory approach to policy implementation. It is an attempt to persuade

individuals or groups to change their thinking and begin understand why a policy is needed.

The next step after the integration of curriculum content to focus on transgender or

LGBTQ students is to provide staff the opportunity to learn more about the transgender

movement and how we can help these students be successful in our school. I believe this

professional development would need to be focused and interactive in an attempt to really get

staff involved in the process and allow them to voice their opinions on the topic. By allowing

them to voice their opinions we allow for them to feel like they are heard, in future PD we then

could start to look at our policy and in particular how policies are could be tweaked to potentially

better accommodate a transgender students.

The next step would be to have a meeting that allows staff to discuss the possible

implementation of a transgender policy that would allow student to choose a bathroom based on

their gender identity. Again, this would be an open format meeting and we would discuss

positives and potential drawbacks for this. It is crucial that at this stage administration have data

and examples of policies that have worked in the other states and really looking at the data to

show them that implementing this policy is something that has been done and been done very

successfully all over the United States.

The next step in the process is having the potentially drafted policy go to the

administration team in my school district and we would engage in conversation to the potential

positives and pitfalls of this policy. Whatever is discussed goes back and is tweaked, taken to the

high school staff team for approval to the changes to have buy in with the policy remain high,

and then back to the administration team for approval. Once it is approved, we would put the

potential policy change on the school board meeting agenda for discussion to allow the

community to voice their opinion in an open forum. Depending on how that meeting goes we

would either move forward and at the next board meeting implement the policy as official

policy and allow for its immediate implementation. If the meeting does not go well we table the

policy and go back to hortatory methods to attempt to educate the community with why this is

something our school needs.


Eventually, if all goes according to plan we will gain community support and take the

policy to the board again for discussion and then an action for the board to vote on the issue. If it

passes then we implement immediately and move to phase two of the implementation phase of

mandating. When the policy become mandated we have to support the policy and make sure that

all staff is following the new policy. However, this should be relatively simple given the buy in

process had already involved teachers and allowed for them to become comfortable with the

policy, and the implementation of transgender issues into the curriculum have allowed them to

develop an appreciations for the struggles of transgender youth.

I anticipate this implementation process taking approximately two year. Given the strong

conservative roots in the district, the fact that no schools have a policy like this in our

surrounding areas, the fact we have no transgender student in our district, and we have leadership

that has actively shut down youth groups promoting LGBTQ clubs is a lot to handle. This

implementation needs to be done with care and precision. Failure to miscue one step could send

the entire plan into a massive collapse. The health classes are my first goal and eventually

spreading to other classrooms for inclusion. In that health class I want to make a curriculum

guide/list of topics covered in health class so student can take it home and parents can see that

we are discussing gender identity and expression in health class. I like health class because it is

required by all students so if we can get a curriculum guide to send home with a brief overview

of what is covered, which includes gender identity, then we begin to get exposure to parents, who

until this point, have had no exposure.

Steps for implementation are crucial and the ideas above are a great start to specific for

incorporating those ideas in the classroom below are a list of steps that I have researched and

have proven to be successful for the University of Massachusetts (2015), and how they have

dealt with community, staff and student questions or concerns, as I feel school districts in my

area would have.

Preparing for Questions and Concerns

Informing Staff
Informing Students & Families
Making Revisions & Amendments
Staff, Student, School Community, & District Feedback
Future Goals

These steps allow for schools to be prepared and mimics a hortatory approach to policy

implementation by gathering feedback and sharing ideas.


My solution does not allow for students who identify as transgender to only use stalls that

are unisex or staff bathrooms. This is an approach that only further alienates the students and

doesnt prepare them for the societal changes that he or she will be associated with when they

leave our school. Our main job as educators is to prepare students for life in the 21st century, this

goes beyond what we teach in the classroom but also by what we do outside of the classroom.

Having transgender students understand and learn what it will be like going to the bathroom or

changing facility with someone who is the same gender but the opposite sex. Interacting with

peers of the same gender, and developing relationships with others as a transgender boy or girl.

These are all factors and teachable moments that will influence the student for the rest of their

life. School districts are so much more then educational institutions. They help students figure

out where they are in the world and learn some of those valuable lessons that stretch outside of

the classroom, but it is also unique to where when something does arise or an issue occurs, the

students have the safety of teachers and administrators to help mentor students and discuss what

is appropriate and why it is appropriate. We are secondary family members to these students and

teach students what is right or wrong, we teach student tolerance and conformity, we allow

students social interaction opportunities to learn how to develop appropriate relationships.


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