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