Londonderry school board to update policies for supporting transgender students
LONDONDERRY - The school board is reviewing proposed guidelines to help teachers and staff support to transgender and gender non-conforming students in the district.
“There’s a very high rate of suicide among transgender individuals, and we simply can’t have that. That simply cannot happen in our district,” school board Chairwoman Nancy Hendricks told the Union Leader. “So I think that our faculty and our staff are certainly concerned about supporting our transgender students.”
The guidelines were drafted by Superintendent Nate Greenberg after consulting with lawyers. The proposal was reviewed at a meeting on Tuesday where parents and others weighed in, with some complaining this was driven by federal authorities.
“This is just the latest example of federal overreach,” Laura El-Azem told the paper.
Londonderry’s guidelines would generally call for transgender students to be allowed access to places and activities in line with their gender identity, including bathrooms, locker rooms, gender-segregated activities and dress code requirements.
They would instruct teachers and staff to be sensitive to transgender students’ higher risk of being bullied. They would also encourage everybody to call transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns — which some at the meeting worried could infringe on free speech.
And they would recommend that transgender students, parents and teachers or staff create plans for addressing the students’ needs.