New policy in Hartford schools protects transgender and nonconforming students

New policy protects transgender students in Hartford
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - More protections are in place for transgender and nonconforming students in Hartford.

The board of education passed a new policy Tuesday night.

The policy touches on areas like privacy, pronouns and bathroom access.

It went into effect immediately.

Advocates say it’s a big win for transgender students who have struggled.

The policy was unanimously approved during Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

“It’s really important for us to stand up for equity for all of our children and not be afraid of the naysayers so,” said Kim Oliver, Second Vice Chair of the Hartford Board of Education.

The policy sets out guidelines for the district on how to address the needs of transgender and nonconforming students.

It also clarifies how state law should be implemented in situations where questions may arise on how to protect a student’s legal rights.

“This policy is designed in keeping with these mandates and creating safe learning environments for all students and ensuring that every student has equal access to all school programs and activities,” said Pastor AJ Johnson, First Vice Chair of the Hartford Board of Education.

The policy addresses bathroom accessibility and states that students should have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

The policy also states that a student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.

Students are also permitted to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity.

“Really excited to see that. And I think that’s going to mean a lot to the kids who are transgender and nonbinary and gender nonconforming in Hartford. They can feel they have the support of the whole school system behind them,” said Lindsey Pasquale, Treasurer of PFLAG Hartford.

Pasquale said this proposal is a big win for students.

“It all comes down to just trying to codify respect and compassion for a student who is going through some experiences that might be different than somebody else’s experiences out there,” said Pasquale.

One more thing the policy does is require training of district staff in transgender sensitivity.

The first day of school for Hartford students is August 29.

For more information on the policy, click here.