CCSD Votes on Gender Policy

Meagan Shaffer, Opinion Editor

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  Change is in the air as the Clark County School Board starts the process of implicating gender diverse policies in schools. A vote in July  2017 put together a group who would work on the policy as the new school year started. The group, Gender Diverse Working Group, consists of CCSD staff and students as well as community members. According to the Review Journal, the district is stuck between two cross roads at the moment on how to continue forward making a safe and comfortable learning environment for students.

According to the CCSD website the Gender Diverse Working Group have been assembled to look at other districts with policies already in place to see whether or not there is a “policy specific to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for gender diverse students” or developing “language for the administrator’s’ handbook on how to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for gender diverse students” would be the best way to go for our district. In 2017, 28 transgender people were killed across the U.S. according to the Human Rights Campaign. Students who have had their gender identity dismissed by family are 13 more times likely to kill themselves. By having this policy in place students would have a safe space to be, especially if their homes are not a place they can be themselves. And with the policies in place students, would help promote tolerance and acceptance in homes and at school.

  On August 9th, the board finally approved the long awaited gender policy. It has been several months of a back and forth battle. At the Board meeting Supporters came with signs reading, “protect sex/gender diverse students”. The board listened to hours of comments from the public. By voting for this policy, every school is now required to have one in place that complies with the guidelines set forth. Students can use the locker room or bathroom assigned to their gender identity or use the one that corresponds to the sex given at birth. If none of these suits the student, they may come up with an individual plan. These options must also be available for overnight school trips.

  However, just because the board finally approved the policy does not mean they are enacting it. According to KTNV there will be one more vote before the topic is laid to rest. A spokesperson told KTNV that there is three likely outcomes. That the board could accept the policy as is, recommend changes to it or vote the policy down. By voting for changes to be made to the policy it would knock the process back several steps. Dragging the process out longer.