The New York City Department of Education released an announcement detailing a number of policies slated to begin in the new academic year, including one that prohibits separating students by gender for sex education classes.
In reference to the inaugural edition of the “Guidelines on Gender Inclusion,” the announcement explains:
Students may not be segregated by gender for health classes, including for the first time, for classes that deal primarily with human sexuality. These new guidelines additionally specify that puberty education classes must be inclusive and affirming to all genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations, and use gender-inclusive language throughout.
The Department’s announcement also reveals revisions to the “Guidelines to Support Transgender and Gender Expansive Students.”
In most cases, the default policy will be to permit transgender students to compete in sports based on their self-declared gender identity. According to the announcement:
Transgender and gender expansive students must be given the same opportunities to participate in physical education as all other students. Generally, a student must be permitted to participate in physical education, intramural sports, and competitive athletic activities and contact sports in accordance with the gender identity they assert at school. Specific requirements apply to wrestling and mixed competition due to State regulations. Previously, decisions regarding participation in competitive athletic activities and contact sports were made on a case-by-case basis.
And when enrolling a student, the NYC Department of Education will allow families to “self-report” the student’s gender, irrespective of the student’s actual biological sex as documented on their birth certificate:
“Families can self-report their child’s gender upon enrollment, establishing a more inclusive process reflective of our students’ gender diversity. Previously, a student’s gender was recorded in accordance with the gender designation on their birth certificate,” the announcement explains.
People may also file a “Name and Gender Request Form” to update their child’s name and/or gender irrespective of that child’s legal name and gender:
Students who have not obtained a legal name change or do not have government ID reflecting their new gender can change their name and gender in their permanent school records with a parent’s permission, or without their parent’s permission if they are 18 years of age or older, by submitting a signed Name and Gender Change Request Form.
“New York City schools must be inclusive environments for all our students,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson stated. “With this updated policy, which allows students to change their name and gender on school records without legal documentation, we are signaling our support for all students regardless of gender identity. Students need to be accepted and supported regardless of gender identity. This policy does that. I thank Chancellor Carranza for his support of the LGBTQIA+ community.”