FDI-AR: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Student Procedures
This administrative rule serves as a guide on how to best support the needs of the district’s transgender and gender-nonconforming learners and their parent/guardian. Administrators are encouraged to discuss these issues with each transgender and gender-nonconforming learner and their parent/guardian on a case-by-case basis to determine how best to support the learner within the parameters of this administrative regulation.
This regulation refers to official transitions or legal identity changes. This regulation does not anticipate every scenario and situation that may occur with respect to transgender and gender nonconforming learners, and not all transgender and gender nonconforming learners’ needs may be the same. Additionally, this regulation does not encompass all situations in which learners may request educators refer to them by any other name besides their legal name (e.g., nicknames, middle names, etc.) and these situations do not require parental/guardian notification or trigger formal discussion around a learner’s gender identity.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming learners have the right to discuss and express their gender identity openly and decide when to share information, with whom, and how much to share. Any discussion between an educator and learner about the learner’s gender identity status will be learner-initiated. If a learner requests school-wide accommodations that relate to their transgender or gender non-conforming status, that educator shall inform the learner of the need for a formal transition meeting. If the learner wishes to proceed, that educator shall refer the learner to the school counselor and/or administrator to schedule a transition meeting.
When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender or gender-nonconforming learner, school staff should use the learner’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the learner’s sex unless the parent/guardian has specified otherwise, or the learner is a legal adult.
Schools should work closely with the learner and parent/guardian in devising a plan regarding the learner’s transgender status. A sample school planning tool is located at FDI-E. This planning tool provides a list of topics for a transitioning learner to review with a parent/legal guardian and a trusted adult in the school and/or a school administrator.
The learner or parent/guardian may request a transition meeting with the principal or designee. The principal or designee may request a meeting with the transgender or gender nonconforming learner and their parent/guardian upon the learner's enrollment in the district or in response to a currently enrolled learner's request for a change of gender identity.
When a learner requests a change in their gender identity, a transition meeting must occur between the learner, parent/guardian (unless the learner is a legal adult), and the principal or designee prior to the change being enacted. This meeting may be called by any of the previously mentioned parties.
The goals of the meeting are to:
- Develop an understanding of the learner's individual needs with respect to their gender identity, including name, pronouns, unofficial learner record adjustments, and any accommodations that the learner and their parent/guardian are requesting or that the district may provide under state and federal law; and
- Develop a shared understanding of the learner's day-to-day routine within the school to foster a supportive relationship and help alleviate any apprehensions the learner may have regarding their attendance at school.
The school may not require the learner to attend a meeting as a condition of providing them with the protection to which they are entitled under state and federal laws regarding gender identity.
The district is required to maintain a permanent learner record which includes the learner’s legal name and the learner's sex. The district must change a learner's official records to reflect a change in legal name upon receipt of documentation that the learner’s legal name has been changed pursuant to a court order or through amendment of state or federally issued identification.
To the extent that the district is not legally required to use a learner's legal name and biological sex on schoolwide records or documents, e.g., rosters, learner ID cards, or awards, etc. the district should use the name, pronouns, and gender by which the learner identifies as established in a transition meeting.
In situations where school employees are required by law to use or report a learner's legal name or sex, such as for standardized testing, school staff shall adopt practices to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of the learner’s transgender or gender nonconforming status to external parties.
The district shall allow learners to dress in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and/or gender expression within the constraints of the dress code adopted at the learner’s school of attendance and within the constraints of the district guidelines for dress as they relate to health and safety issues (e.g., prohibitions on wearing gang-related apparel). The school dress code must be gender-neutral and shall not restrict a learner's clothing choices based on gender.
Schools may maintain separate restroom and locker room facilities for male and female learners. Schools shall adhere to state and federal laws regarding public facility access for transgender learners. If there is a reason or desire for increased privacy and safety, any learner shall be provided access to reasonable alternatives such as, but not limited to, a single stall “unisex” restroom, the health office restroom, a private changing area, or an alternative changing schedule.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION, ATHLETICS, AND ACTIVITIES
Learners shall be permitted to participate in gender-separated physical education, intramural athletics, and non-high school interscholastic athletics and activities in accordance with the learner’s gender identity. Participation in high school interscholastic athletics and sports is governed by the North Dakota High School Activities Association, which has its own policy with respect to transgender learner participation. Activities that may involve the need for accommodations to address learner privacy concerns, such as overnight trips, shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The District is required to maintain a permanent student record which includes the student’s legal name and the student's gender. The District must change a student's official records to reflect a change in legal name upon receipt of documentation that the student’s legal name has been changed pursuant to a court order or through amendment of state or federally issued identification.
To the extent that the District is not legally required to use a student's legal name and biological sex on school records or documents, i.e., rosters, student ID cards, or awards, the District should use the name, pronouns, and gender by which the student identifies.
In situations where school employees are required by law to use or report a student's legal name or gender, such as for standardized testing, school staff shall adopt practices to avoid the inadvertent disclosure of the student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status.