From bathrooms to sports, Utah educators create guidelines for transgender students
The Utah Board of Education Standard and Assessment Committee has spent the past several months trying to complete a “guidance document” for Utah schools as they encounter issues regarding transgender students and students with gender identity issues.
The document is not a law or even a policy, but is meant to give educators a handbook of sorts when new issues arise.
The committee has spent hours determining verbiage on everything from sports, clubs, dress code to more divisive issues including facilities and pronouns.
Sue Robbins is a transgender woman who says affirming policies for trans youth is a step in the right direction.
She believes Utah leaders are trying to help all youth feel safe and accommodated in schools and says things like pronouns can make a big difference for teens.
“Being able to use your pronouns has been studied and shows positive mental health impacts for our youth,” says Robbins.
She believes “pushback” comes from a place that needs understanding.
“Why do we need to sit here and have social fights about taking care of someone else?” Robbins says. “Let’s take care of everybody and in this case, this policy takes care of our transgender youth.”
The Committee will take public comment on the guidance document in the coming days. If you would like to make comments, you can do so at schools.utah.gov/board.
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