Forest Oak Elementary School

Forest Oak Elementary School

The Red Clay School District is soliciting feedback for a proposed policy regarding its transgender and gender diverse students.

Red Clay introduced a draft policy at its November school board meeting, that if approved would allow students to use rest rooms and locker rooms "that corresponds to the student's gender identity consistently asserted at school," on a case-by-case basis.

Red Clay Deputy Superintendent Dr. Hugh Broomall said the district is looking to create inclusive atmospheres.

"The goal is to ensure safety, comfort, and healthy development of the transgender or gender diverse student while maximizing the student's social integration and minimizing stigmatization of the student."

The proposal also would allow students to be addressed by a name or pronoun confirming to their gender identity, but a court-ordered name or gender change would be required for legal documents, such as diplomas.

Red Clay students would be allowed to participate in phys-ed classes and intramural sports based on the gender identity consistently asserted at school, but they would have to follow DIAA policy for interscholastic competition.

The DIAA policy states: "A transgendered student, defined as a student whose gender identity differs from the student’s assigned sex at birth, may be eligible to participate on a team other than their assigned sex at birth in accordance with a Member School policy that meets the minimum standards designated by the Board."

The DIAA is forming a Transgender Policy Sub-Committee to consider changes or additions to the rule.

Board member Dr. Adriana Bohm stated concern that the draft policy was created by a committee devoid of student representation.

"I think it's really important to have students on that committee, because I don't know how we can make decisions and recommendations to students, but not have them participate in the committees."

There will be several opportunities for feedback leading up to a potential vote by the Red Clay School Board on December 15.

A Board Policy Review Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December at 5 p.m. at the District Office's board room at 1502 Spruce Avenue, Wilmington.

Red Clay is also encouraging written feedback at BoardPolicy@redclay.k12.de.us.

The Christina School District enacted a similar transgender policy in January.