Supporting Transgender Students in Independent Schools

Independent schools, like their public school counterparts, are considering how to best serve an increasingly diverse student population. For schools serving transgender and genderexpansive students, the question of how to best meet students’ basic needs has proven to be a complex inquiry, one that traverses wide-ranging social, emotional, legal, religious, privacy, and ethical positions.

As mission-driven institutions, independent schools have a head start in setting the tone for dialogue and discernment about the issues and concerns that can arise when they attempt to meet the needs of transgender or transitioning students. Independent school leaders know that being proactive about matters related to diversity and inclusion yields the most effective outcomes, and this applies to the complexities of gender as well.

While the binary male/female gender paradigm is no longer sufficient for understanding gender identity and gender expression, this perspective is new to many people. School leaders can reduce misunderstanding and conflict by raising awareness and educating constituencies about gender diversity, including transgender status.

Anticipating challenges, listening to concerns from all quarters, and providing concrete responses to questions will allow administrators and other school leaders to successfully navigate most situations this topic reveals.

On this page, you will find many resources for supporting transgender students in independent schools.

Supporting Transgender Students

Resource Articles

Transgender Students and School Bathrooms

NAIS has released the following “FAQs” resource about transgender and gender-expansive students using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. This guide, developed in partnership with Gender Spectrum, is designed to help you frame the discussion of bathroom and other facilities use so you can enter the conversation with confidence.

NAIS Webinar Recordings

Video: Supporting Transgender Students

Independent Ideas Blog

Independent School Magazine

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