CMS Trains Staff on New Anti-Bullying Policy for Transgender Students
CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Ann Clark is enforcing a new rule in the school district's anti-bullying policy to better help transgender students.
The school district’s executive staff and principals spent hours training Monday on the changes, which go into effect next school year.
"We've talked about things like dress code, use of pronouns, how to call roll, how to line students up to go to the cafeteria and not say 'boys in this line, girls in this line' and be very sensitive,” said Clark.
Plus, Clark says starting next year students will be able to use the bathroom or locker room that best matches their gender identity - a change she says has been in the works for about a year and has nothing to do with House Bill 2.
But it’s a good time to clarify the rules when federal and state laws contradict each other on this topic.
North Carolina's HB2 requires everyone to use the bathroom which matches their biological sex, while federal law allows students to go wherever they're most comfortable.
"Before now, the district was going and supporting students on a case by case basis, and it's simply, they're not able to do that anymore because there's too many cases to work with,” said Todd Rosendahl, school outreach director at Time Out Youth.
Rosendahl has been helping CMS train its staff for the new policy in what he calls a 'Transgender 101.'
He says many people in CMS have been asking for it.
"What today was, was a realization for my team that we have a lot of work to do, but this is doable,” said Mark Bosco, principal of Myers Park High. "We just have to be sensitive to what we do."
Students will also have the option to use a single-stall gender neutral bathroom or locker room if they choose. Official school documents, like transcripts, will still have the student’s legal name and sex.
CMS says all teachers will be trained on the new policy before the next school year starts.