The Minnesota Department of Education voted last week to approve a transgender "tool kit" with guidelines educators and staff should follow in regard to transgender students.
The tool kit suggests teachers avoid saying “boys” and “girls” and instead use neutral pronouns such as “students” and “scholars.” Prom king and queen would be changed to “prom ambassadors” or “royals.”
The 11-page tool kit advocates allowing students to use locker rooms and restrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and suggests schools make single-user restrooms available for students who are uncomfortable sharing with transgender students.
According to NBC News, Minnesota Family Council Communications Director Stephani Liesmaki said the tool kit “includes veiled threats” to parents and students, and “considers only the perspective of gender-nonconforming students,” dismissing and ignoring concerns of others.
The recommendations are nonbinding, the council said, and are an attempt to elicit more community support for transgender students.
“Transgender and gender-nonconforming students face harassment, bullying, and feel unsafe at alarmingly high rates,” Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said, NBC reported. “The resources in this tool kit can help districts create welcoming, safe and supportive environments for all students to learn.”
“Schools that want to develop policies for transgender and gender-nonconforming students now have a resource to work with their local stakeholders to create safe learning environments for all students free from discrimination and harassment,” Minnesota Department of Human Rights commissioner Kevin Lindsey said, NBC reported.
Twitter users showed concern about what Minnesota's tool kit would do to students and decried its “lack of common sense.”
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