Proposed LGBTQ-Inclusive School Protections in Delaware Close to PassageBy Shane Stahl • November 27, 2017 • 3:00 pm
Comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for the state of Delaware’s public schools, proposed by Governor John Carney earlier this summer, are close to being passed before the end of the year, ensuring that the state’s transgender students are protected from discrimination in public and charter schools.
In July, the Governor asked the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to draw up a draft model nondiscrimination policy which would have strong protections for LGBTQ students, now known as Resolution 225. Specific protections in the draft include: allowing students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that best correspond to their gender identity, allowing students to participate in the team sport that best matches their gender identity, and allowing students to designate their preferred name on school records.
These protections are in line with policies on the books in school districts across the country—from Oregon to Chicago to Washington DC—that put the wellbeing of students front-and-center.
“The Department of Education has taken the basic step of saying that transgender students should not be subject to discrimination at school.”
But opponents of equality are pushing back with a smear campaign spreading lies about who transgender students are, in an effort to dissuade the DDOE from adopting these potentially life-saving protections.
Equality Delaware is working to emphasize the importance of these protections, which are supported by a majority of Delawareans. Lisa Goodman recently penned an op-ed for delawareonline, in which she made a strong case for swift implementation of protections for transgender students:
“The Department of Education has taken the basic step of saying that transgender students should not be subject to discrimination at school. Imagine knowing that you are female, but the world insisting that you are male. Now imagine feeling that so strongly that you are willing to risk living your truth as a teenager, or even younger for some transgender kids.”
Furthermore, EQDE is sharing stories of transgender students and their families who need state officials to pass these protections into law. The featured video on their Facebook site is that of DeShanna and Trinity. Trinity is a transgender girl who, without statewide protections for transgender students, was so turned away by her public school. Her mom DeShanna quit her job to homeschool her daughter, forcing the family below the poverty line With Resolution 225 adopted into law, Trinity could once again attend Delaware public schools, but this time feel safe and protected, knowing the law is on her side. [include link to watch video]
Public comment on the issue remains open until next Monday, December 4. Delaware residents who support protections for transgender students can comment by taking action with Equality Delaware here.