Biden to Reinstate School Transgender Rules, How Will Local Districts React?
According to multiple sources, including The Blaze, Biden plans to use an executive order to reinstate an Obama-era series of rules regarding transgender or students who identify with opposite gender.
In particular, the rules will allow such students to utilize the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. You may recall the hot button national issue concerning Target store restrooms a number of years ago.
In May 2016, after Obama left office, the rules went into effect, followed by immediate legal challenges by nearly 25 states. In 2017 President Trump revoked the rules, saying Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex, not gender identity.
We reached out to Kennewick, Richland and Pasco and asked how this Biden change will affect area schools, although many are still struggling to return to 'normal from COVID.' Most schools in Washington state already have policies in place concerning transgender students; adopted over the last few years.
The Kennewick School District has responded with information from the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) pertaining to sexual and gender discrimination rules. Their own policies read in part as follows, specifically concerning this topic:
"Students will be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to the gender identity they assert at school. No student will be required to use a restroom that conflicts with their gender identity. Any student—regardless of gender identity—who requests greater privacy should be given access to an alternative restroom. However, schools may not require a student to use an alternative restroom because of their transgender or gender-expansive status."
As for locker room use:
"Use of locker rooms by transgender or gender-expansive students will be assessed on a case-bycase basis, with the goal of maximizing transgender or gender-expansive student social integration, providing an equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes and athletic opportunities and ensuring the student’s safety. The district will take an approach that conforms with OSPI ‘s guidelines. In most cases, the district should provide the student access to the locker room that corresponds to the gender identity they assert at school. Reasonable alternatives to locker room conditions for any student who wants additional privacy include, but are not limited to: •
Use of a private area (e.g., nearby restroom stall with a door, an area separated by a curtain, an office in the locker room, or a nearby health office restroom);
• A separate changing schedule (i.e., utilizing the locker room before or after the other students).
The school will provide accommodations needed to allow the student to keep their transgender or gender-expansive status private. No student will be required to use a locker room that conflicts with his or her gender identity."
Most Districts guidance and policies are compiled based upon requirements from the RCW as well as the Superintendent's Office (SPI).
To see the KSD procedures (Gender Schools Procedure 3211) document, click on the button below.
Richland also has policies, which read almost verbatim the same at Kennewick's. To see Richland's Click on the button below.
To see the policies that were used to create the procedures, click on the button below.
To see Pasco's, click on the button below. Very similar to RSD and KSD but less specific.