by Milo Primeaux, Esq.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently issued an emergency regulation, effective May 8, 2018, that explains the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming public school students under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). This is a HUGE step toward equality and justice for these students, who otherwise are not protected under the New York State Human Rights Law and whose federal rights are threatened by the current administration. The catch: an emergency reg is only temporary – so NYSED needs feedback from the community before it can make it a final permanent reg.
What Does This Regulation Do?
It spells out specific situations when a DASA report must be filed and investigation conducted because of the way a transgender or gender-nonconforming student is mistreated or bullied. The full language of the proposed regulation here: http://bit.ly/NYSED_TransRegs.
What Can You Do?
Email NYSED at email@example.com by Monday, July 23 stating your support! Here’s some language you can use:
My name is __________, and I am a [student, parent, friend of a trans youth, concerned community member, etc.] residing in ________ County, New York. I’m writing to strongly support the proposed/emergency regulation to protect transgender and gender-nonconforming public school students (Reg. ID No. EDU-21-18-00039-EP).
[Share part of your own personal story, and why this issue matters to you.]
Specifically, I support a final regulation that:
- Clarifies that “gender” always means “gender identity” and “gender expression”
- Clarifies that students should have access to school facilities, functions, opportunities, or programs, including but not limited to, restrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, and/or field trips, consistent with their gender identity or expression, or a denial that is otherwise based on another protected status
- Clarifies that a report regarding the use of name(s) or pronoun(s) or the pronunciation of name(s) that is inconsistent with a person’s gender identity or expression or is otherwise based on another protected status
- Adds specific protections for a trans student’s privacy rights and protects against disclosure or “outing” of their trans status, sexual orientation, or related private medical information without the student’s express consent
To learn more about this issue, access a template letter you can copy and paste, please visit: https://www.miloprimeaux.com/calls-to-action
Join Milo at the Out Alliance LGBTQ Resource Center on Saturday, June 23 from 2-3:30pm for a free, open “Know Your Rights” workshop. This is an ideal opportunity for family and youth to learn about their rights in public schools, and also to take immediate action to tell NYSED they support a critical regulation coming up on July 23rd.