Broward County, Fla., school board adds gender identity and expression to its nondiscrimination policy
The Broward County School Board in Florida unanimously voted today to add gender identity and gender expression to its nondiscrimination policy statement. The new language protects transgender and gender non-conforming students from discriminatory harassment which demeans their dignity, adversely affects their academic opportunities, interferes with their academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile academic environment.
Statement by Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
We applaud Broward County School Board’s decision to expand its nondiscrimination policy so that all students have the opportunity to learn, regardless of their gender identity or expression. Every student deserves a school environment free of harassment, bullying or intimidation. Yet, our recent report of the largest survey of transgender and gender non-conforming people, Injustice at Every Turn, done in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality, showed alarming rates of harassment and other mistreatment of those who were out as transgender or who expressed gender non-conformity. At school, 78 percent experienced harassment, 35 percent experienced physical assault, and 12 percent experienced sexual violence. One-sixth of these students left school due to this abuse. Such alarming rates are unacceptable. And, as recent events have reminded us the real costs of failing to protect our young people from school harassment, we commend the Broward County School Board for their leadership in taking a clear stand against discrimination.
For more information about Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, go to: http://thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/ntds.