Maryland School District Adds Third Gender Option for Students, LGBT ‘Safe Space’ Classrooms

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Montgomery County Public School District in Rockville, Maryland, recently rolled out a set of policies that will allow students to identify by a “third gender,” and adds the requirement for schools to provide an LGBT “safe space.”

According to a local news report, the Montgomery County Public School District in Rockville, Maryland, is introducing a policy that will allow to students to identify as neither male or female. Instead, students will be permitted to identity on official school forms as “X,” a new classification that will stand in for alternative genders.

The new policies, which were outlined in a document released over the summer, cover everything from pronoun use to gender-neutral bathrooms. The document claims that school staff members must address students by their chosen pronouns. Moreover, students are not first required to legally change their pronouns or name.

All students have the right to be referred to by their preferred name and/or pronoun. Students should be addressed by school staff members by the name and pronoun corresponding to the gender identity that is consistently asserted at school. Students are not required to obtain a court-ordered name and/or sex designation change or to change their student records as a prerequisite to being addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their preferred name. To the extent possible, and consistent with these guidelines, school personnel will make efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the student’s transgender status.

The document also states that each school will be required to provide a “safe space” for LGBT students. “Safe zone stickers” will be placed on the doors of classrooms that function as “safe spaces.” Teachers will be asked to undergo specific training before they are permitted to operate their classroom as a “safe space.”

Schools will designate certain teachers’ classrooms, specific offices, or a location in a school that is deemed a safe zone where any student, for whatever reason, may go to be free from judgment and to feel comfortable and safe. Schools also should ensure that staff members who have safe zone stickers on their doors have received appropriate training regarding providing inclusive, affirming environments.

In Oak Park, California, parents are reportedly irate over the fact that LGBT lessons will be taught to grade school children. According to the curriculum, “In fourth grade, students learn gender is ‘self-defined,’ and, in grade five, they learn ‘there are many gender identities’ and are introduced to the concept of ‘transgender’ and the use of preferred pronouns.”

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