FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors will give a second reading to a draft Transgender Students Guidelines document Tuesday.

The board is following the policy adoption procedure, which is a first and second reading of the document, followed by board action.

The board’s meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Forum at Mt. Blue Campus with an executive session regarding compensation of employees.

During a first reading of the guidelines on Dec. 13, a couple of directors voiced concerns over some of the content in the document or content that was lacking.

The guidelines provided by Drummond Woodsum law firm met applicable federal and state law regarding transgender students. It was reviewed by the board’s Policy Committee and members made recommended changes.

The draft document was returned to Drummond Woodsum and it met the letter of the law, Superintendent Tom Ward said.

According to the guidelines, “Administrators, school staff, volunteers, students and others who interact with students are expected to be sensitive to the ways in which particular transgender students may wish to be identified.”

The definitions in the document define transgender as “individuals whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”

The definition of gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender.

“One’s gender identity can be the same or different from the gender assigned at birth,” the document states.

The purpose of the guidelines is to foster a learning environment that is safe and free from discrimination, harassment and bullying, and to assist in the educational and social integration of transgender students.

“A student will be considered transgender if, at school, he/she consistently asserts a gender identity or expression different from the gender assigned at birth,” the document states.

It reviews how to address the needs of transgender students, including how to develop a plan for a particular student’s needs with the student, parents, guardians and other pertinent people.

“A school will use the name and gender identified even if their education records, to include student information and learning systems, or identification documents indicate a different sex,” according to guidelines.

A student who has been identified as transgender under the guidelines:

• Will be permitted to use the restrooms assigned to the gender which the student consistently asserts at school;

• Will be permitted to use the locker room assigned to that gender; and

• Will not be required to use a locker room that conflicts with that assertion.

Director Nancy Crosby of Weld said she did not see in the document a provision for children and parents who object to the compromise that they perceive of having people who are gender identified differently coming into a locker room.

“I see we are basically compromising the majority rights on the side of the rights of the very small majority,” she said.

She also said the document does not address students who turn 18 while in school and legally can be held on a misdemeanor crime for exposing one’s self and, if repeated, could escalate to a higher charge.

There is a student code of conduct in place that, if violated, the student would be dealt with appropriately, Ward said.

Director Keith Swett of Wilton said the document is good for protecting the transgender student but not the other students.

Ward said there are transgender students in the district and parents, students and district staff have worked together to develop a plan for each of them. So far it has worked well, he said.

He will check with attorneys on the concerns raised.

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