413R - Transgender And Gender Expansive Students
- 400 - Employees/Personnel
BURNSVILLE-EAGAN-SAVAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT 191 ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION FOR SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER AND GENDER-EXPANSIVE STUDENTS
This Administrative Regulation (“Regulation”) sets forth Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 (“District”) procedures for schools to address the needs and concerns of transgender and gender-expansive students to ensure safe, supportive, and healthy school environments where every child can learn. This Regulation is intended to: 1) ensure that all students are welcomed, valued, included, and respected; 2) to help schools ensure safe learning environments free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying; and 3) to promote the educational and social integration of transgender and gender-expansive students. This Regulation does not and cannot anticipate every situation that may occur, as every student is unique. The support for each student must be assessed and addressed individually based upon the student’s specific requests and needs.
This Regulation is supported by District Policy 102 (Equal Education Opportunity), 413 (Harassment and Violence), 514 (Bullying Prohibition Policy), 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records, 522 (Title IX Sex Nondiscrimination Policy, Grievance Procedure and Process), and 525 (Violence Prevention).
The definitions contained in the policy are not intended to label students, but rather to assist in understanding this policy and the legal obligations of district staff. It is recognized that students might or might not use these terms to describe themselves.
“Gender Identity” is a person’s deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender, regardless of the sex or gender they were assigned at birth. A person’s gender identity can be the same or different than the sex or gender assigned at birth.
“Gender Expression” refers to the manner in which a person represents or expresses that person’s gender identity to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, or mannerisms.
“Transgender/Trans” describes people whose gender identity or expression is different from that traditionally associated with an assigned sex at birth.
“Gender Non-Conforming” describes people whose gender expression differs from social expectations, such as “feminine” boys, “masculine” girls, and those who are perceived as androgynous. This phrase also includes people who identify outside traditional gender categories.
“Gender-expansive” describes someone with a more flexible gender identity than might be associated with a typical gender binary.
Information related to a student’s transgender and gender-expansive status is private data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); therefore, there are limitations on when such data may be shared. To ensure the privacy rights of students, District personnel shall not disclose information that reveals a student’s transgender or gender-expansive status to others, unless:
1. by written consent of a parent/legal guardian or student.:
2. the information is needed by other school personnel within the District who have a legitimate educational interest in the information in order to perform their duties or provide services to the student;
3. the person is a parent or legal guardian of the student; or (4) a federal or state law compels disclosure (i.e. health emergency, court order or subpoena). Parents/guardians have full access to information regarding their children, except in very limited circumstances where a determination has been made that access is not in the best interest of the child (i.e. to protect from physical or emotional harm.) Parents/guardians may not be denied access to any existing educational record unless the student is enrolled full-time in a postsecondary institution or has attained the age of 18.
In some cases, with the consent of the student and parents/guardians, District staff will develop a plan to inform and educate the student’s peers and/or engage external resources to assist in the support of students dealing with transgender or gender-expansive issues.
3. Official School Records
The school district is required to maintain a mandatory and permanent student record (“official record”) that includes a student’s legal name and gender. The school district is not required to use a student’s legal name and gender on other school records or documents.
The school district will change a student’s official record to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of documentation that such change has been made pursuant to a court order or other official government action.
In situations where school district staff or administrators are required by law to use or report a transgender or gender-expansive student’s legal name or gender, such as for purposes of standardized testing, school staff and administrators shall adopt practices intended to minimize the likelihood of inadvertent disclosure of confidential or private information relating to a student’s gender identity or gender expression to parties lacking a legitimate educational interest in that information.
4. Student Names, Pronouns, and Gender Markers
A student may request that the student be referred to by a name and pronouns that correspond to the student’s gender identity by all school staff and fellow students. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) have a right to request that the District change the student’s name and/or gender marker in the school’s student information system. A court-ordered name change or official gender change is not required, and the student is likewise not required to change the school’s official records in order to be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to the student’s gender identity.
5. Gender-Segregated Activities
To the extent possible, schools should reduce or eliminate the practice of segregating students by gender.
6. Gender-Segregated Facilities
Transgender and gender-expansive students shall have access to gendered facilities and school-sponsored programs that are consistent with the student’s gender identity. This includes, but is not limited to, multi-stalled gendered restrooms, locker rooms, and school programs, trips, and athletic programs.
a. Restroom Accessibility
Pursuant to state law, students shall have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity asserted at school:
i. Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the student’s gender identity or expression, and regardless of the underlying reason for the student’s need or desire for increased privacy, should be provided access to a single user restroom.
ii. No student shall be required to use a single user restroom because they are transgender or gender-expansive.
iii. The District shall work with each gender-expansive student to determine which restrooms are most comfortable for the student.
iv. In no case shall a transgender or gender-expansive student be required to use a restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.
b. Locker Room Accessibility
The use of locker rooms by transgender and gender-expansive students shall be assessed on an individualized basis with the goals of maximizing the student’s social integration and equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes and sports and other school activities, ensuring the student’s safety and comfort, and minimizing stigmatization of the student.
i. Unless the student requests otherwise, transgender and gender-expansive students should have access to the locker room that corresponds to the student’s gender identity asserted at school, like all other students.
ii. Any student who has the need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the student’s gender identity or expression, and regardless of the underlying reason for the student’s need or desire for increased privacy, should be provided with a reasonable alternative changing area such as the use of a private area (e.g., a nearby restroom stall with a door, an area separated by a curtain, a physical education instructor’s office in or near the locker room, or a nearby health office restroom), or with a separate changing schedule (e.g., using the locker room that corresponding to gender identity before or after other students).
iii. Any alternative arrangement should be provided in a manner that protects the student’s ability to keep the student’s transgender or gender-expansive status confidential.
iv. The District shall work with each gender-expansive student to determine which restrooms and locker room facilities are most comfortable for the student.
v. In no case shall a transgender or gender-expansive student be required to use a locker room that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.
7. Physical Education and Health Education Classes and Intermural Sports
Transgender and gender-expansive students shall be permitted to participate in physical education classes, health education classes, and intramural sports and activities in a manner consistent with their gender identity or in a manner that allows the student to feel the safest, included, and most comfortable.
Students in physical education classes may be grouped by ability, so long as a student’s ability is based on objective standards of individual performance. A student’s gender identity shall not be considered when assessing ability.
Physical education and health education teachers and staff will make their best efforts not to divide students based on sex assigned at birth or gender identity during any activities or classes.
8. School Trips
All students shall be permitted to participate in all school trips in a manner that corresponds with their gender identity or in a manner that allows the student to feel the safest, included, and most comfortable. In planning school trips, staff is expected to assess the student’s need in collaboration with the student and/or the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).
9. Dress Codes
Transgender and gender-expansive students have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression, including at school-sponsored functions such as dances, after school activities, and graduation. The District’s rules regarding clothing will be enforced consistently, regardless of a student’s gender identity or expression.
10. Interscholastic Competitive Sports Teams/Activities
Transgender and gender-expansive students shall be permitted to participate in interscholastic athletics in a manner consistent with their gender identity and in compliance with the applicable regulations of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).
11. Staff Training and Compliance
All District staff shall be informed of the existence of this Regulation. The District will, at intervals to be determined by the District, provide staff training on this Regulation and how to support transgender or gender-expansive students.
It is the policy of the District to maintain a safe and supporting learning and educational environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, violence, and/or bullying and free from discrimination on account of gender, gender identity, and gender expression.
Complaints alleging misconduct based on a student’s actual or perceived transgender status or gender non-conformity shall be investigated and addressed pursuant to the applicable School District policy. For information about the types of conduct that constitute violation of the school district’s policy on harassment and violence and the school district’s procedures for addressing such complaints, refer to the school district’s policy on harassment and violence (Policy 413). For information about the types of conduct that constitute violation of the school district’s policy on bullying and the school district’s procedures for addressing such complaints, refer to the school district’s policy on bullying (Policy 514).