WSSD’s Policy on Gender Identity and Bathroom Choice

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education advised schools nationwide that they should allow transgender students to use the restrooms associated with their gender identity. In response to a query from the Swarthmorean, Wallingford-Swarthmore School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Pladus provided this statement on WSSD’s approach to the matters raise by this federal policy edict:

“Our school district, as is the case with I would imagine most others, is and will be working even more closely with our Solicitor’s Office as we assure that we fully understand and are in compliance with the recent Executive Order regarding the rights of transgender students in school. I am not certain if the primary concern at this point is in terms of policy, as federal law (Title IX) already provides for protections against discrimination, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s guidance has been explicit in terms of non-discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The more immediate concern for districts will probably lie in the areas of practices, logistics and the potential impact on facilities. The general guidance under which we have been operating is that every student is unique, needs can vary by the age of the student and the nature of the individual, and ultimately every student has the right to learn and be in a safe environment. The larger policy goals seem rather clear; the potential issues that could emerge would be, again, in the area of practices and implementation.”

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