Two separate drafts of an Albany County School District No. 1 Board of Education policy regarding gender-nonconforming and transgender students will be discussed at a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 7-8:30 p.m.

The two drafts are similar, but there are a few notable differences.

The first version of the policy says students must use restrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex.  Both drafts include provisions to make reasonable accommodations–such as use of a private area or restroom, or a separate changing schedule–for transgender and gender-nonconforming students who seek increased privacy.

The second version does not include that restriction, and says students “should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.”

Each draft contains a section saying that District staff should address students “by the name and pronoun corresponding to his/her gender identity,” and that court-ordered name or gender changes are not a prerequisite for such treatment.  This section is the same in each draft, with one exception- the second draft includes a sentence saying “intentional or persistent refusal” to address a student according to their gender identity is a violation of the policy.

The summary of the second draft ends with a stated goal of “maximizing the student’s social integration and minimizing stigmatization of the student within our district,” which the first version does not include.

In addition, the second draft contains a section on “Resources for Transgender or ‘Transitioning’ Students.”  This section–which is not included in the first version of the policy–briefly describes how District counseling services can benefit students.

Otherwise, the two drafts are identical.  Each contains a section on dress codes that give students the right to “dress in accordance with their gender identity” so long as the dress code is not violated.

Both versions of the proposed policy give gender-nonconforming and transgender students the same opportunities in physical education and sports programs, but says that permission to participate in those programs–as well as activities offered by the Wyoming High School Activities Association–will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The drafts were produced by a committee formed in September charged with further study of the matter after a first reading of the original policy was approved by the board in August.

The two drafts are available on the ACSD No. 1 website.

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