The Leon County School Board finalized and approved the LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Guide during the LCSB meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
After months of laboring over the guide and reviewing Florida law and the Parents Bill of Rights, the LGBTQIA+ 14-member committee completed the document and presented it to the Board for review and a vote.
After hours of discussion by the Board during the agenda review meeting on July 27 and then again during the regular session, and after hearing more than 40 concerned students, parents, and teachers, the Board unanimously passed the guide.
The document is intended to aid teachers and faculty in treating all students fairly. In addition, this is to ensure that teachers have direction when helping students and parents with concerns regarding gender or sexuality.
“We are not writing a guide to help children transition,” Superintendent Rocky Hanna said during the meeting. Instead, the guide is there to help faculty members navigate sensitive matters and support students.
“We are trying to help our teachers and our administrators know what to do with students who need our help. We are trying to give them guidance that is uniform across every school,” Board member Rosanne Wood said. “We have tried to incorporate students’ and parents’ rights in this guide.”
The primary changes the Board made before voting were regarding restroom and locker room usage and when parents should be notified if and when a transgender student may require/request accommodations.
Wood’s primary concern was the possibility of outing a student who was not ready to discuss their identity with classmates or parents. However, she feels the amendments allow students to control what information is shared while ensuring parents are a part of any action the district takes. For instance, if a child wants to change their name in school, they must have permission from their parent.
Ultimately, the changes to the Inclusive guide were to provide any student who requests special private accommodations for locker room or restroom use according to their gender identity must have a plan completed with their parents’ participation.
However, if a student is open about their gender identity and wishes to use the corresponding locker room, the parents of all students using the locker rooms will be notified and given reasonable accommodations for their students. To protect the transgender student’s privacy, notifications to parents will be general and not solely issued to one particular class.
Lastly, a change was made by the Board for overnight field trips, requiring parents to sign a form requesting their child have special accommodations.