Momentum: Sixteen School Districts in New Hampshire Officially Protect Transgender Students from Discrimination

New Hampshire schools are emerging as leaders in the movement for transgender equality with the passage of transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policies that ensure all students can participate fairly and equally in school activities.

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In the last month, Rochester and Dresden became the latest school districts to adopt these policies, bringing the total number of transgender-inclusive school districts up to 16. The other New Hampshire school districts that have either updated existing non-discrimination policies to cover transgender students or passed explicit transgender-inclusive policies include Candia, Dover, Epping, Greenland, Hooksett, Monroe, Northwood, Oyster River, Portsmouth, Sanborn, Concord, Londonderry, Merrimack Valley and Somersworth.

In 2015, the New Hampshire School Board Association (NHSBA) released a model policy that laid out guidelines for how schools should treat transgender and gender-nonconforming students. Since then, schools across the state have been grappling with how to best implement these guidelines in their individual districts.

According to the NHSBA guidelines, schools should use a student’s requested name and pronouns, and allow students to use restrooms and participate in sports teams in a way that is consistent with their gender identity. It also recommends that locker room access be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

However, the NHSBA’s guidelines are just that—guidelines. It’s up to New Hampshire’s 238 individual school districts to implement these guidelines. In 2014, the Department of Education released its own guidelines announcing that Title IX protections against sex discrimination apply to transgender students.

Public schools—including New Hampshire’s—that don’t adhere to the DOE’s guidelines risk losing federal funding. Passing explicit transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policies is a smart financial move for New Hampshire’s schools, and the right thing to do for New Hampshire’s students.

Do you support fair and equal treatment for New Hampshire students? Then join our coalition and sign the pledge. Click here to sign on and learn more.

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Manchester aldermen adopt transgender inclusive health care policy

October 19, 2016 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2016
Owen Loftus | [email protected] | 719-406-6564
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

CONCORD, N.H. — On Tuesday, Manchester aldermen approved transgender inclusive health care benefits for city employees and their families.

The 10 – 2 vote ensures that transgender employees and their families will have access to medically necessary health care, just like other city employees.

JeanMarie Gossard, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, released the following statement in support of Manchester’s transgender inclusive health policy:

“This is an important development for the transgender community in Manchester. Policies like the one adopted in Manchester are similar to what businesses and companies across the country have adopted, which help ensure that they can attract and retain the best employees possible.

“While Manchester’s new transgender inclusive health policy is important, we must also remember that New Hampshire does not have explicit laws protecting Granite Staters from discrimination based on their gender identity. That means transgender individuals can still be evicted from their homes, denied public services and be fired from their jobs, just because of who they are. This is wrong.”

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Manchester Alderman Approves Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Policies, 10 – 2

October 19, 2016 by admin

Yesterday, Manchester voted by an overwhelming majority to extend transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage to city employees and their families.

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Healthcare access is essential to living happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The 10 to 2 vote ensures that transgender employees and their families will have access to medically necessary health care, just like other city employees.

Our own campaign manager, JeanMarie Gossard, lauds the vote, saying, “This is an important development for the transgender community in Manchester. Policies like the one adopted in Manchester are similar to what businesses and companies across the country have adopted, which help ensure that they can attract and retain the best employees possible.”

Ultimately, transgender equality is about affirming the dignity of transgender people. No one should be discriminated against and excluded from healthcare services just because of who they are.

Manchester’s new inclusive healthcare policy removes a significant barrier that prohibited transgender city workers from fully participating in public life. And the strong municipal support for this policy is just mounting evidence of growing statewide support for the fair and equal treatment of transgender people in all areas of life.

But there’s still a lot to do before transgender Granite Staters will be fully fair and equal under the law, says Gossard: “While Manchester’s new transgender inclusive health policy is important, we must also remember that New Hampshire does not have explicit laws protecting Granite Staters from discrimination based on their gender identity.”

This has got to change. Take a stand for full transgender equality under the law and click here to sign our pledge today.

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Manchester aldermen say yes to sex change coverage

October 18, 2016 by admin
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Rochester School Board adopts transgender, gender non-conforming policy

October 17, 2016 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 17, 2016
Owen Loftus | [email protected] | 719-406-6564
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

CONCORD, N.H. — On Thursday, the Rochester School Board joined 15 other New Hampshire school districts in approving a policy protecting transgender and gender non-conforming students from discrimination.

Amongst other things, the new policy requires schools to:

Other school districts in New Hampshire that have adopted similar policies include Oyster River School District, Hampton School District, and Concord School District.

“Every student deserves the right to receive an education and participate in extracurricular activities without being discriminated against, including transgender and gender non-conforming students, ” said JeanMarie Gossard, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire.

The new policy puts Rochester Schools in line with a directive from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, which affirm transgender students protections under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The guidance is now being reviewed by federal courts.

“As Granite Staters come to know transgender people and understand what it means to be transgender, momentum is building across New Hampshire to ensure their equal treatment. We at Freedom New Hampshire hope even more schools will follow suit,” Gossard added.

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Rochester Schools Are the Latest to Adopt Transgender-Inclusive Non-Discrimination Policies

Another district has joined a growing group of New Hampshire schools that are making transgender non-discrimination a priority.

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This week the Rochester School Board approved a policy that recognizes the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students, including that they be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The new policy was drafted to align with U.S. Department of Education and New Hampshire School Boards Association guidelines for how schools must treat transgender students. In 2014, the Department of Education announced that Title IX protections against gender-based discrimination apply to transgender students. Schools that don’t adhere to the DOE’s guidelines risk losing federal funding.

With the adoption of this policy, the Rochester School District joins four others in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region that have adopted similar policies, making New Hampshire’s schools a leader among the states in the number of districts that have responded proactively to the Department of Education’s guidelines.

Last month, the Dresden School Board adopted a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policy after a group of students took the lead on the issue. So far, more than two dozen school districts have implemented explicit non-discrimination policies to ensure fair and equal treatment of transgender students.

Policies like Rochester’s and Dresden’s provide much-needed support to the nearly 78 percent of transgender students who report being harassed at school. Today’s news makes it clear that more and more school districts are realizing this and taking important steps to protect students.

You can signal your support for transgender-inclusive non-discrimination protections like Rochester School District’s by signing your name to our pledge for transgender equality.

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Growing U.S. Majority Agrees: Transgender Americans Deserve Equal Treatment on the Job and in Public Accommodations

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