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Transcript of Transgender Students
Defining Our Terms
MA Law Regarding
Support Groups Outside of School:
2-5% of population is transgender!
15% of transgender people have been imprisoned
2.64% of trans people are infected with HIV — 4x the national average of 0.6 percent in the general population.
25% of the survey respondents reported misusing drugs or alcohol specifically to cope with the discrimination they face due to their gender identity.
33% of transgender youth have attempted suicide
1 in 5 transgender people have experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of discrimination and family rejection
In terms of School:
78% report being abused at school
31% Report being abused by teachers!
35% report physical assault (5% by teachers)
12% report sexual assault (3% by teachers)
90% of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression
Absenteeism: Almost half of all transgender students reported skipping a class at least once in the past month (47%) and missing at least one day of school in the past month (46%) because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable
Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Youth (BAGLY) www.bagly.org
Parents and Friends of Gay and Lesbian Youth (PFLAG) www.pflagnyc.org
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) www.masstpc.org/
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) www.glsen.org
Cody Tubman is Voted Prom Queen!
Transgender Day of Remembrance www.transgenderdor.org
BAGLY meetings and Prom www.bagrly.org
Boston Youth Pride www.bostonpride.org/youthpride/
When Working With Transgender Students:
Use the student's chosen name (even if it does not match the school's documentation)*
Use the gender pronouns associated with the student's gender identity ("He" for students who identify as boys. "She" for students who identify as girls.)
Do not assume students are out to peers or family
Never tell anyone about a student's gender identity
Listen to trans students - try to help them feel comfortable and safe in your classroom
Transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom and changing facilities that correspond with their gender identity. Those who are uncomfortable using a sex-segregated restroom should be provided with a safe and adequate alternative , such as a single “unisex” restroom or the nurse’s restroom.
The Rainbow Project: Through the American Library Association www.glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks
Lambda Literary Awards lambdaliterary.org
Female to Male (FtM):
Male to Female (MtF):
I AM: Trans People Speak Project www.transpeoplespeak.org/
We Happy Trans www.wehappytrans.com/
A person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth
The manner in which a person represents or expresses gender to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, or mannerisms
A trans person who was born and assigned female at birth but identifies as male
A trans person who was born and assigned male at birth who identifies as female
Cody Tubman is her high school’s first ever transgender prom queen, crowned by classmates in Middleborough, Massachusetts.
"Cody came out as transgender in her freshman year, and she stopped wearing boys’ clothes the year after that. Her mama was loving and supportive from the start, her school was down with her using the girls’ washrooms, and Cody says most of her classmates really accepted her for being herself." -Bust Magazine
Transgender Students May:
Perform poor academically
Feel uncomfortable with changing clothing in public (such as after gym)
Feel uncomfortable and/or restricted in access to bathroom space
Transgender: an umbrella term used to describe a person whose gender identity or gender expression is different from that traditionally associated with the assigned sex at birth.
A term used to describe people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations. The terms “gender variant” or “gender atypical” are also used
"No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the
advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of gender identity"
"Require schools to establish policies and procedures, provide training, and implement and monitor practices to ensure that obstacles to equal access to school programs are removed for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students."
"An Act Relative to Gender Identity became effective on July 1, 2012, amended several Massachusetts statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of specified categories, to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity"
The law states that: “[g]ender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, c are or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.”
In one Massachusetts town, the parents of a pre-school-age biologically female child noted throughout the child’s early years that their child identified as a boy. For as long as the parents could remember, the child preferred to play with boys rather than girls, wanted a short haircut, rejected wearing any clothing that the child identified as “something a girl would wear,” and ignored anyone who called him by his stereotypically feminine name.
When it was time for the child to enter kindergarten, the child said to his parents, “You have to tell them when I go to kindergarten that I’m a boy.”
Consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity?
When a student new to a school is using a chosen name, the birth name is considered private information and may be disclosed only with authorization as provided under the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations
If the student has previously been known at school or in school records by his or her birth name, the principal should direct school personnel to use the student’s chosen name. Every effort should be made to update student records (for example, Individualized Education Programs) with the student’s chosen name and not circulate records with the student’s assigned birth name.
Some schools create separate files using the student's chosen name. The file with the birth name is then filed away and held as confidential, with restricted access.
Comm of MA Commission of LGBT Youth Recommendations
Access: Funding and support for programs that target LGBT youth remains crucial for youth to be able to access the services and resources they need. Both LGBT youth and the adults who work with them reported that youth face barriers to accessing services, including feeling unwelcome in agency offices. This was particularly significant among youth of color and transgender youth.
Anti-discrimination policies and guidance: Access and education are improved by ensuring there is a grievance process in place or another type of redress that clients have if they are not served appropriately. We recommend developing stronger guidance, model policies, and best practices for working with LGBT youth throughout the Commonwealth, and have provided examples from the federal government and other states where available.
Training: From schools to foster care to health care, youth and their allies report a need for increased LGBT cultural competency among state employees and contracting agencies. All Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Executive Office of Education (EOE) agencies would benefit from regular and consistent training and education around LGBT youth populations and issues within their respective service areas. We recommend collaboration with experts to develop and execute these trainings.
Where there are sex-segregated classes or athletic activities, including intramural and interscholastic athletics, all students must be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity.
The issue of the name and pronoun to use in referring to a transgender student is one of the first that schools must resolve to create an environment in which that student feels safe and supported. Transgender students often choose to change the name assigned to them at birth to a name that is associated with their gender identity. As with most other issues involved with creating a safe and supportive environment for transgender students, the best course is to engage the student, and in the case of a younger student, the parent, with respect to name and pronoun use, and agree on a plan to initiate that name and pronoun use within the school.
Under state law, information about a student’s assigned birth sex, name change for gender identity purposes, gender transition, medical or mental health treatment related to gender identity, or any other information of a similar nature, regardless of its form, is part of the individual’s student record (see Massachusetts Student Records Regulations, 603 CMR 23.00), is confidential, and must be kept private and secure, except in limited circumstances. 603 CMR § 23.04.8
In all cases, the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment