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Baltimore City Public Schools' board of commissions approved a policy that goes above state requirements by allowing transgender students to use their preferred names and pronouns and access locker rooms and bathrooms of the opposite sex.
The board unanimously (8-0) passed the new policy, known as JBB, at its latest meeting on Tuesday to a chorus of cheers from LGBT advocates holding up signs that read “We are all human.”
Rules - Students - Ability - Pronouns - Names
Under the new rules, students will have the ability to use the pronouns and names of their choosing without being required to have already changed their name legally. The transgender students may also use locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Also, schools can not force transgender students to use a private or gender-neutral bathroom.
The school district’s new policy states that students who object to the policy will be provided with a “safe non-stigmatizing alternative.”
School - Board - Policy - JBB - Baltimore
“I applaud the School Board for unanimously passing policy JBB,” Baltimore City Council Member Zeke Cohen wrote on Twitter. “In the next few weeks, The City Council will introduce legislation to protect and affirm our transgender siblings. To the LGBTQ youth and educators: You led, policy makers followed. Your voices mattered. You matter.”
The pro-LGBT American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland also praised the policy.
Baltimore - Sun - Notes - Policy - Transgender
As The Baltimore Sun notes, the policy is unclear about whether or not biologically male transgender students will be allowed to attend the district’s only all-female school. But the policy does ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and gender nonconforming status.
The new policy comes as similar policies passed in other school districts around the United States have raised religious freedom and free speech concerns for faculty and students.
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