Gender Spectrum has released, Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions to address many of the common questions that arise for school leaders at the school and district level as they work to create gender-inclusive school environments. Anticipating and listening to these concerns and providing concrete responses to them will allow school officials to successfully respond to the majority of situations related to this topic.
This resource is endorsed and supported by the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
“While this may be new to some educators, parents, and students, this document builds on the successful experiences of educators throughout the country who have skillfully implemented gender inclusive policies, including those related to bathrooms”, said Joel Baum, Senior Director of Professional Development and Family Services at Gender Spectrum. “Enacting these policies allows school leaders to support the needs of all students.”
Having support at school and acknowledging a student’s right to use the bathroom consistent with their Gender identity is critical. A negative school experience not only hinders a Transgender student’s academic achievement and growth, but can also interfere with their long-term health and well-being.
- 75.1% of transgender students feel unsafe at school because of their Gender expression
- 63.4% of transgender students reported avoiding bathrooms
- 41% of transgender or gender non-conforming people have attempted suicide
Organizations that Support this Resource
The organizations that endorsed Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions shared the following:
“The American School Counselor Association believes the current discussions about transgender students are not about restrooms and locker rooms. They are about discrimination. Schools must fight discrimination by teaching students to be tolerant of others and by advocating against policies and practices that create barriers for certain segments of the student population. ASCA is confident the Gender Spectrum resource Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions will help schools accomplish these goals.” – Richard Wong, Executive Director
“It is critically important to maintain a positive school culture where all students feel included and respected, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression. Education leaders should use this guide to ensure the safety and well-being of every student in their learning communities.” – Gail Connelly, Executive Director,
“NASP supports efforts to ensure that schools are safe and inclusive learning environments for all students. The Transgender Students and School Bathrooms Frequently Asked Questions resource provides much needed information to guide educators in the development of inclusive bathroom policies for transgender and gender expansive youth.” – Mary Beth Klotz, PhD, NCSP, Director of Educational Practice
“Schools leaders must create the conditions in which each student feels comfortable so each can learn at high levels. Given the high rates of harassment of transgender youth, we have to make a particular effort to safeguard them so nothing gets in the way of their learning.” – Michael Allison, President
Below are additional resources to help your school support all students:
Gender Support Plan – The purpose of this document is to create shared understandings about the ways in which the student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school.
Sample District and Statewide Policies that Provide Protection for Transgender Students – Excerpts from state and local school district policies that are currently in place.
Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools – Offers practical guidance and field-tested tips to parents, educators, administrators, and community members on planning and supporting a transgender student through a Transition at school.
Policies and Guidelines
The following policies and guidelines come from the organizations that have joined with Gender Spectrum to support the contents of this FAQ:
ASCA – Position Statement: The School Counselor and LGBT Students
NASP – Position Statement: Safe Schools for Transgender and Gender Diverse Students
NASSP – Statement: NASSP States Support for Rights of Transgender Students