January 3, 2018: District Message Regarding New District Student Facility Access and Accommodation Procedures
Dear Wilson School District Community Member:
We hope you had an enjoyable holiday and that your children are returning to school refreshed and ready to continue on their exciting educational journey. This is an opportune time to underscore that our District is committed to providing a respectful, caring and supportive environment – free from any form of discrimination or harassment – to every student in every school program and building.
This means being responsive to the ever-evolving needs of our diverse student population, including students that identify as transgender. As we begin the New Year, and resume our school year, we are informing members of our school community of a new procedure that has been developed by the administration, with Board input, after consultation with a transgender high school student and the parents of that student. Specifically, the procedure relates to bathroom access and accommodation. The procedures will go into effect on January 8, 2018 and will be used to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
While many school districts across Pennsylvania – and throughout the country – have previously developed such procedures, this is new ground for our District. In many respects, our procedures reflect best practices based on the experiences of others.
For the most part, it is quite possible that the new procedures will have no direct impact on your student(s). Regardless, we believe it is important to ensure that every community member is aware of the procedures and that any questions they might have are answered fully and in a timely manner. Accordingly, we are posting the new procedures to the WSD website (see the link below). We would also like you to be aware of the following:
- Training on the new procedure is underway in every WSD school building for faculty and staff members.
- The transgender high school student – and that student’s parents – have reviewed the new procedure and said they appreciate its development and look forward to its implementation. Above all, they are thankful for the support and respect that has been demonstrated by members of our community. Effective January 8, this student will begin using the bathroom of the gender of which they identify.
- The procedures, at this time, only apply to bathroom access and accommodation. Should a question arise down the road regarding, for example, locker rooms, we will address it in the same manner that is focused on being respectful and supportive.
- It should be noted that any transgender student who is looking for access/ accommodations will go through the procedures as attached.
If you have any questions, please contact your building principal. Thank you in advance for your interest and support of the Wilson School District.