Monday, March 27, 2017

Recap and Resources: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Matters in the Montgomery County Public Schools



Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Matters in the Montgomery County Public Schools

            Believe it or not, fifteen years ago MCPS pretended that everyone was straight. Teachers were forbidden from even mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity. But in 2002, that began to change, and, even though some forces tried to prevent progress, now MCPS enables full discussion of these matters in its secondary school health education classes.  See here and
here and here.

            Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, health education teachers develop their own curricula, based, in part, on guidance from the American Psychological Association.  See here and here.  Discrimination against LGBT students has been prohibited for many years, but that policy took on new strength in 2015, when MCPS specifically informed principals of new guidelines regarding gender identity matters.  These guidelines were strengthened and published in August 2016. See here .

            In May 2016, the Obama Administration issued similar guidelines to public schools throughout the United States.   But in February 22, 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew the Obama Administration guidelines.  The very next day, MCPS issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to its existing non-discrimination policies.  And on March 2, 2017, MCPS filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court supporting Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student in Virginia who had been denied the right to use the male restroom. 

            This history is important for families in Montgomery County, so that they know that, regardless of what may come from the current federal administration, the rights of LGBT students are respected in the Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Below, for reference, are pertinent blogs and MCPS and State of Maryland documents. 

Relevant recent blogs and documents

December 4, 2016
Life Goes On:  Advocacy for LGBTQ Youth

January 12, 2017
“We are enraged, but engaged”

February 22, 2017
Transgender Students in Montgomery County: Your rights in MCPS have not changed.

Feb. 23, 2017
MCPS Statement on Trump Administration's Decision to Rescind Federal Protections for Transgender Students

March 2, 2017


MCPS POLICIES AND REGULATIONS

Guidelines Regarding Student Gender Identity Matters (originally issued July 2015, revised August 2016)

Employee Code of Conduct, 2016-17

A Student’s Guide to Rights and Responsibilities, 2016-17

MCPS Regulation JFA-RA (Student Rights and Responsibilities) (last revised September 2016)

MCPS Regulation RGT-RA (User Responsibilities for Computer Systems,
Electronic Information, and Network Security) (last revised July 2012)

MCPS Regulation JHF-RA (Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation) (last revised February 2017)

MCPS Form 230-35 (Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form)
(This form is also available in Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Amharic: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/forms/detail.aspx?formID=40&formNumber=230-35&catID=1&subCatId=44)

MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GUIDELINES (October 2015)

PROVIDING SAFE SPACES FOR TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NON-CONFORMING YOUTH: GUIDELINES FOR GENDER IDENTITY NON-DISCRIMINATION: A guide to laws, regulations, and best practices for use in schools.


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