Policy 3281 - Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
The Board believes in fostering an educational environment that is safe and free of discrimination for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This policy is designed to create a safe learning environment for all students and to ensure that every student has equal access to all Charter School programs and activities. Failure of any School student or School employee to abide by the terms and provisions of this policy will subject such individual to disciplinary action.

 

Definitions
“Sexual orientation” shall mean an individual's physical or emotional attraction to the same and/or the opposite gender. "Gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" and "straight" are all examples of sexual orientations. A person's sexual orientation is distinct from a person's gender identity and expression.

“Gender identity” shall refer to a person's deeply felt internal sense of their own gender.

“Gender expression” shall refer to how a person expresses their gender to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, or mannerisms.

“Transgender,” an adjective, shall refer to a person whose gender identity or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex assigned at birth.

 

School Facilities
In the case of middle/junior high students and high school students, the principal or building administrator is encouraged to request a meeting with a transgender student and, if the student grants permission, with their parent/guardian upon the student's enrollment in the School or in response to a currently enrolled student's change of gender expression or identity. The goal of the meeting is to develop understanding of that student's needs with respect to their gender identity.

In the case of elementary school students, it will generally be the parent/guardian that informs the School of an impending transition. However, if the School’s staff believe that a gender identity or expression issue is presenting itself and creating difficulty for the child at school, it may be appropriate for the School’s administrative staff and/or counselor to approach the student’s parent/guardian about the issue. An individual teacher shall not approach a student’ parent/legal guardian to address such a student situation without first conferring with the School’s administration about the subject and obtaining permission to enter into such a discussion. A meeting may be held at the request of the student’s parent/guardian or at the request of the principal or building administrator. Together, the family and School can identify appropriate steps, if any, to support the student.

Students will be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school. No student will be required to use facilities that conflict with his or her gender identity consistently asserted at school. A transgender student or any other student who has a need or desire for increased privacy may be given the option of using a separate or private restroom or changing area, such as a single stall restroom, if such is available. No student shall, on account of their transgender status, be required to use such separate facilities.

 

School Activities
The Charter School will provide all students the opportunity to participate in any activities segregated by gender in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity consistently asserted at school. However, activities under the direction of the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) shall be subject to IHSAA rules and regulations.

 

School Trips
In the case of overnight trips sponsored by the Charter School, students will be assigned sleeping rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school or to a private sleeping room. No student shall be required to sleep in a private room or in an assigned room conflicting with his or her consistently asserted school gender identity.

In no case will a transgender student be denied the right to participate in an overnight trip because of that student’s transgender status.

In no case will a student be denied the right to participate in an overnight trip because of that student’s sexual orientation. Likewise, a student will not be required to use a private sleeping room or be denied participation on the basis of that student’s sexual orientation.

 

Student Records and Privacy
The Charter School’s official records required by law shall utilize a student’s legal name. In situations where State or federal law or administrative rules require School employees to use or report a student's legal name or gender, such legal name or gender shall be utilized. However, School staff shall use practices to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of a student’s transgender status.

Information regarding a student's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, legal name, or gender assigned at birth may constitute confidential information. Disclosure of such information shall be in accordance with Charter School policies pertaining to student privacy. The student’s educational record shall not include mention of the student’s sexual orientation.

However, in the course of ordinary interactions and communication, School staff shall use the name and pronouns consistently asserted by the student at school, regardless of the student’s legal name and sex. A student is not required to legally change their name, gender, or official School records as a prerequisite to the use of a name and the pronouns consistent with the student’s identity. Intentional and persistent refusal to use the name and gender by which the student identifies is a violation of this policy and may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination.

 

Change of Official School Records
Charter School records required by law to include the student’s legal name and/or gender will be changed by the School upon the student or former student’s presentation of appropriate documentation to the School Office. Any current or former student may present to the Executive Director or designee responsible for student records a copy of a court order or birth certificate identifying a change of the student’s legal name and/or gender. The student’s records will be changed accordingly.

 

Confidentiality
School employees should not disclose a student's transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals, regardless of setting, including to other School personnel or (in the case of middle School, junior high School, and high School students) the student’s parents/guardians, unless they have a legitimate need to know or unless the student has authorized such disclosure. Action in violation of such student confidentiality may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination and, for certificated personnel, a report to the Professional Standards Commission.

When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender student, School personnel should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth unless the student or parent/guardian has specified otherwise.

 

Training
The Charter School may conduct staff development or awareness activities for students or parents on transgender issues or gender diversity. However, in regard to such activities, the School and its personnel shall not disclose the transgender status of any student without permission of that student and their parent(s)/guardian(s).

 

Dress Codes
The Charter School dress code shall be gender neutral in all situations, including attire during the traditional school day, School activities including dances and prom, and graduation. The School will allow students to dress in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity within the constraints of the dress codes and any other rules regarding student attire. Students may wear clothing or accessories that voice their views on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, regardless of viewpoint, provided these conform to the dress code; are not a disruption to the educational environment; and are not obscene, threatening, lewd, or vulgar.

 

School Dances
The Charter School shall not impose different or unique practices or rules for same sex couples who attend and/or participate in School activities, including dances. This includes such matters as prohibition of attendance of same sex student couples, limitations of public displays of affection only applicable to same sex couples, discounted couples tickets, requiring dance court titles that correspond to birth sex, and other such distinctions.

 

Safe Environment
It is the responsibility of the Charter School to ensure all students, including LGBT students, have a safe School environment. Discrimination, harassment, bullying, or sexual harassment complaints involving LGBT students shall be handled in the same manner as other discrimination, harassment, bullying, and sexual harassment complaints.

 

Cross References:
2140 Student and Family Privacy Rights
3255 Student Dress
3280 Equal Education, Nondiscrimination, and Sex Equity
3290 Sexual Harassment/Intimidation of Students
3295 Hazing, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Cyber Bullying
3575 Student Data Privacy and Security

 

Legal References:
20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 - 82 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
I.C. § 33-133(1)(j)(ii) Student Data – Items Not to be Included in a Student’s Educational Record

 

Other Reference:
Idaho High School Activities Association Rules & Regulations, Rule 11-3 Transgender Student Participation
Idaho High School Activities Association, Current Rules and Regulations Manual Rule 11-3: Transgender Student Participation (available at https://idhsaa.org/asset/19-20Manual_Complete.pdf) (last accessed November 11, 2019)

 

Policy History:
Adopted on:
Revised on:
Reviewed on: