Transgender and NonBinary Students
February 23, 2017
Dear Friends School Heads and Division Directors,
Yet again this week, Friends Council member schools are absorbing recent announcements from the White House and considering what these might mean for their Friends school communities. On February 22, 2017, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education withdrew the federal guidance on transgender students (May 13, 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students).
Friends Council on Education affirms that Friends schools are committed to the Quaker testimony of equality, to diversity, and to integrity. Our schools strive to create inclusive, supportive, and respectful communities for all students, including our schools’ transgender and gender expansive/non-binary students.
We know from informal conversations that many Quaker schools have established diversity statements and some have established policies and practices specifically to support transgender and gender expansive youth in our schools.
As you seek to assure transgender and non-binary students in your schools, and their families, we offer the following resources to draw upon:
Friends Council Resources:
- A compilation of sample policies for supporting transgender and gender expansive students from Friends Council member schools. If your school does not have a policy in place and are considering crafting one, we offer these policies as models for your consideration.
- A list of educators in our Friends schools who have agreed to serve as a resource for other Friends school educators.
- For more information about these resources, please contact Betsy Torg at Betsy@friendscouncil.org.
Recommended Reading and Online Resources:
- “Tell Transgender Youth: We’re Still Here for You,” by Maya Lindberg. Teaching Tolerance blog, February 23, 2017.
- “Being there for NonBInary Youth” by Jey Ehrenhalt. Teaching Tolerance Magazine, Number 53: Summer 2016.
- Teaching Tolerance Toolkit for “Being there for NonBinary Youth”
- Schools in Transition: A Guide to Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools
The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Gender Spectrum led the effort to produce the guide, joined by Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Education Association
- Gender Spectrum’s Education Resource section
Friends Council on Education
1507 Cherry Street ~ Philadelphia, PA 19102