CONCORD, N.H. — Gilford schools are the latest to adopt a policy protecting transgender students from discrimination.
“Every student in New Hampshire deserves the right to receive an education in a safe environment, free from discrimination,” Gerri Cannon, a transgender rights advocate and member of Freedom New Hampshire, said. “Gilford schools have taken an important step toward ensuring this goal.”
Amongst other protections, the new measure allows students to dress and use facilities that match their gender identity. It also affords students the right to be addressed by their proper name and pronoun without having to change official records.
Other New Hampshire school districts, including Rochester, Oyster River, Hampton and Concord have adopted similar measures.
Gilford’s policies are now inline with a guidance issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice asserting that Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 apply to transgender students.
State Rep. Ed Butler, D-Harts Location, has introduced legislation to update the state’s existing civil rights laws to provide fully inclusive protections for all transgender individuals in New Hampshire, including students. The measure will grant explicit nondiscrimination protection to transgender individuals in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as stores, restaurants and hospitals. House Bill 478 is supported by a large coalition of businesses, faith and civic leaders, educators and Granite Staters from all walks of life.
“Transgender students want to receive an education, without fear of harassment, violence or discrimination. We are grateful leaders in Gilford, Rochester, Oyster River and elsewhere have taken steps to provide all their students with a safe place to learn,” Cannon added. “We hope clear nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment and public accommodations will soon be afforded to all transgender individuals in New Hampshire.”