Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2018

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School Board reviews draft policy protecting gender-diverse students

Clark County School Board trustees voted 4-3 late Thursday to move forward with a policy that protects students who are trans or nonbinary in their gender expression. The vote doesn’t enact the policy but continues its development.

The policy provides guidelines for how schools should handle students with diverse gender expression, including: the use of names and pronouns of gender-diverse students, unofficial and official records, discipline, restroom and locker room access, overnight field trips and complaint procedures.

After some revisions to the language in the draft policy, it will again be discussed by trustees at their Aug. 9 meeting. Trustees could vote during the meeting, which will include public comment, to enact the policy.

Public comments Thursday on the policy were divided. Some parents criticized the board for holding the meeting during summer break and for leaving them out of the conversation, while students with gender-diverse identities urged the commentators to be respectful.

“Let’s make sure there are no more delays. Please continue with the process of finalizing a draft, so we can go forward and get this policy placed as soon as possible,” said Kristina Hernandez, a trans student. “As I’ve said many times again, separate but equal will never be equal.”

Trustee Carolyn Edwards said she was worried about the legal ramifications, regardless of what action the board takes.

Nevada Senate Bill 225 requires school districts to provide a safe learning environment for students with diverse gender identities and expressions.

“I believe we will be sued if we do nothing and if we do something,” Edwards said. “We will be sued one way or another. This will play out in court.”