The Chicago public schools system released updated guidelines for students, teachers and volunteers on May 2. The new regulations are specific to bathroom and locker room usage according to the Windy City Times.
The new guidelines updates policies laid out in 2014 that were unintentionally vague on the subject. They say explicitly that transgender students and staff should use the restroom and locker room appropriate to their gender identity and also specify that any students who feel uncomfortable in the facilities can make arrangements to use a bathroom in a more private area.
“This is a great step toward a truly equal and inclusive public school system for transgender students in Chicago,” Christopher Clark, LGBTQ Youth and Schools program strategist for Lambda Legal, told the newspaper. “Chicago is the third largest school district in the country so today’s actions are significant. At a time when we are seeing attacks on the most vulnerable members of our community, Chicago is instead taking steps to protect and affirm transgender people. …We pledge to continue working with CPS to make Chicago schools the standard for inclusiveness, respect and equal opportunity for transgender students.”
“The guidelines released today will help ensure every student and adult in the CPS family can participate in an environment of complete tolerance and respect. CPS, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools,” CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson said in a prepared statement. “These guidelines build on our commitment to fostering healthy and supportive learning opportunities across the District so that each of our students can reach their full potential.”