Madison-Grant Unified School Corporation fulfilled a public records request for an administrative guideline that was not provided to a parent or the media at a board meeting earlier this week.
The guideline will be used for decision making on bathroom use by transgender people.
Superintendent Scott Deetz said this document was not officially approved by the school board because it is a guideline, rather than an official policy.
According to Deetz, this is difference between the two: “The Policy is similar/equal to a law for the school corporation. The guideline is the procedure(s) used by administration (school staff) to support, implement, or enforce the policy set by the school board.”
Deetz did not respond to a question about whether students or staff will be disciplined for not following the guideline. Although the guideline is intended to “support, implement or enforce” a policy, which must be voted on at a public meeting, Deetz did not answer a question about what policy this new guideline is attached to.
As previously reported, the guideline will be used by building administrators to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. The guideline states that a student, parent or guardian must file a request in order to use a different bathroom than the gender assigned on their birth certificate.
Deetz said the document is written based on the school corporation attorney’s interpretation of court decisions on transgender issues.
“The School Corporation reaffirms its commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of sex, but the school corporation also recognizes the legitimate privacy interest of all students,” the guideline reads. “The School Corporation also is committed to policies and practices that grant all students equal program access without regards to sex, are workable, objective, practicable, equitably enforced, and based on sound medical science and scientific validity.”
Building administrators will consider the following factors when making the decision whether to accept or deny a student to use a restroom different than their gender at birth. Many of the factors require the application to include documentation such as legal paperwork or doctor notes.
- Concerns raised by other students, parents or guardians about the accommodation
- The student’s age
- Whether the student’s current gender reflects their birth gender and whether there is a pending request to change their birth certificate
- The duration of a public or aesthetic transition
- If the student has placed a request with the school be called by a different name or pronoun
- If a student can prove a diagnosis of Gender Dysmorphia
- If a student can prove he/she is receiving hormone treatments or duration of hormone treatment
- Whether the student has undergone a transition procedure or other medical treatment
- Proof of other medical conditions relevant to the the accommodation
- Facility restrictions
- Accommodations offered to students with a similar request
The document does not provide a specific time-frame in which a decision shall be made or whether the student, parent or guardian will have access to the reason a request is denied. The policy states: “The administrator shall promptly consider the request and then notify the student or parent and guardian of the student whether the request was granted or denied.”
If the application is denied the guideline states an appeal may be filed with the Superintendent’s Office within 10 days of the decision.
This guideline only applies to school public restroom use. Stated examples of this guideline does not apply to are: “requests by transgender students or their parents or guardians for access to locker rooms or overnight boarding accommodations that do not correspond with the student’s sex at birth or requests related to sports programs.”