The Minnesota Department of Education just added an update to their policies. The advisory council met on Wednesday in order to approve a new “toolkit” which would help transgender students feel more welcomed in Minnesota schools.
The toolkit is titled “Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.” It gives public Minnesota schools advice on how to interact with and protect transgender and gender nonconforming students, in the hopes of helping them feel “safe and fully included.”
Part of this toolkit includes providing all students with access to bathrooms and locker rooms that conform with identity preferences.
The toolkit states, “Schools should work with transgender and gender nonconforming students to ensure that they are able to access needed facilities in a manner that is safe, consistent with their gender identity and does not stigmatize them.”
The addition in the toolkit that is causing parents to be particularly concerned is a section that mentions students who do not feel comfortable with this change in bathrooms and locker rooms. It says that opposing students should be segregated.
The toolkit states, “Privacy objections raised by a student in interacting with a transgender or gender nonconforming student may be addressed by segregating the student raising the objection provided that the action of the school officials does not result in stigmatizing the transgender and gender nonconforming student.”
The toolkit will bring about other extreme changes as well. For instance, if teachers use the “incorrect pronoun or incorrect name” of a transgender student, they are warned that they could violate federal law.
While the toolkit was approved, it is nonbinding, meaning that it could be edited in the future. Minnesota Family Council CEO John Helmberger said that it will likely be challenged in court.
He said, “Concerns of gender-conforming students and parents are ignored and dismissed” by the toolkit. This was a sentiment that many other concern parents expressed at the advisory council meeting as well.
What do you think about this new toolkit? Please share comments and prayers on Facebook. Have you heard about the "educational" toy that is intended to help transgender children understand their identity? Read about it here.