Pittsburgh schools adopt transgender nondiscrimination plan

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Public Schools have enacted a nondiscrimination policy that outlines the rights, protections and support systems schools must provide for transgender students.

The city’s school board unanimously approved the district policy on Wednesday, and officials called it the right thing to do for some of their “most vulnerable” children.

“We’re moving forward on the right side of law and history,” said board member Moira Kaleida, who urged the district to consider the guidelines last fall after principals and legal experts told her of the need for them. She said the district received about 400 emails in favor of the policy and 20 against it.

The guidelines allow students to use bathrooms and participate in physical education classes and intramural sports that align with their gender identity. It also lets students be addressed by their preferred name and gender pronoun.

Under the policy, students may request alternative accommodations, including a private office restroom, curtain partition or a separate changing space if they feel uncomfortable. Each school will also form teams that will receive specialized training to serve as a “visible resource” for students who have questions

“Under no circumstance should any student be required to use sex-segregated faculties that are inconsistent with their gender identity,” according to the policy.

Though the policy was passed unanimously, board member Cynthia Falls said she’s concerned that different points of view were not given significant opportunities to make their cases. She said “we need to do due diligence to people who have different viewpoints.”

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