Pascack school board to vote on new transgender guidelines
The Pascack Valley Regional Schools district has become the latest in New Jersey to consider adopting guidelines that would allow students to choose which bathrooms they use based on their gender identity, according to published reports.
The Pascack Valley Board of Education is set to vote Monday on a policy that would implement rules protecting transgender students, NJ Advance media has reported.
"The Pascack Valley Regional High School District is committed to maintaining an educational environment that does not discriminate against students, regardless of a student's race, religious preference, sexual orientation, or gender. As a result, the district plans to adopt a policy that establishes guidelines to protect the rights of its transgender students," the school board states on its website.
If approved, the proposed policy will give transgender students "whose gender identity is sincerely held as a part of the student’s core identity" and their parents the opportunity to meet with school officials to discuss a variety of school related issues. Among them, students will be able to request that staff members refer to them "by the name and pronoun corresponding to the student's gender identity."
The policy also states that transgender students will not be required to use bathrooms or locker rooms that conflict with their gender identity. The students will also have the opportunity to take part in physical education classes and sports based on the gender identity that is "consistently asserted" by them in school.
In February, the Toms River Board of Education decided to table a vote to approve a policy allowing transgender students to choose which bathrooms and locker rooms to use in district schools.
The school board initially planned to adopt the policy, which was drafted in December, but the plans were put on hold when parents and religious leaders in Toms River began to voice opposition to the policy.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.