The Gilford School Board is moving forward with a district-wide policy that would protect transgender students from discrimination.
The board passed the policy—which allows students to wear clothes and use facilities that match their gender identity—without contest during its scheduled meeting on January 9. The new policy also indicates students should be addressed by their chosen name and pronouns without having to change their official school records.
Gerri Cannon, a transgender rights advocate and member of Freedom New Hampshire, praised Gilford for taking proactive steps to ensure our state’s schools are places where all children feel safe and welcome:
“Every student in New Hampshire deserves the right to receive an education in a safe environment, free from discrimination. [And] transgender students want to receive an education, without fear of harassment, violence or discrimination. Gilford schools have taken an important step toward ensuring this goal.”
With this change, Gilford becomes the 17th school district in the state to adopt educational policies aimed at respecting transgender students and protecting them from harassment, bullying and other forms of discrimination.
Other New Hampshire school districts that have either updated existing non-discrimination policies to cover transgender students or passed explicit transgender-inclusive policies include Rochester, Dresden, Candia, Dover, Epping, Greenland, Hooksett, Monroe, Northwood, Oyster River, Portsmouth, Sanborn, Concord, Londonderry, Merrimack Valley and Somersworth.
These policies only protect students, but New Hampshire lawmakers could ensure that all transgender Granite Staters—adults and students—are protected from discrimination by passing House Bill 478, which would grant explicit non-discrimination protection to transgender individuals in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as stores, restaurants, hospitals and schools.
A coalition of businesses, faith and civic leaders, educators and Granite Staters from all walks of life are coming together to support this critical legislation. If you’re one of them, click here to send a message to lawmakers urging them to support it.