SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 3067

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED: †MAY 18, 2017

 

†††† The Senate Education Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 3067.

†††† This bill requires the Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines for school districts regarding transgender students.† The guidelines are intended to provide direction for schools in addressing common issues concerning the needs of transgender students, and to assist schools in establishing policies and procedures that ensure a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment for transgender students.

†††† Under the bill, the guidelines are required to include information and guidance regarding the following: (1) definitions of terms relevant to an understanding of transgender issues; (2) maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment; (3) confidentiality and privacy concerns regarding a studentís transgender or transitioning status; (4) procedures for the maintenance of official school records; (5) use of the name and pronoun that corresponds to a studentís gender identity; (6) issuance of school documentation such as student IDís in the name that corresponds to a studentís gender identity, and permitting transgender students to dress in accordance with their gender identity; (7) equal opportunities for participation in physical education; (8) participation in gender-segregated school activities in accordance with a studentís gender identity; (9) the use of restrooms and locker rooms; (10) ensuring that school counselors are knowledgeable regarding issues and concerns relevant to transgender students; and (11) permitting and supporting the formation of student clubs or programs regarding issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.† In addition, the guidelines will include information on organizations or other resources available to students and parents that provide support to transgender individuals.

†††† The bill directs the commissioner to periodically review the guidelines and to update or modify them, as appropriate, in accordance with current State or federal laws and regulations concerning the rights of transgender students.

†††† In addition, the bill requires the commissioner to provide school districts with guidance and resources regarding: (1) providing professional development opportunities to teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, bus drivers, coaches, and other school staff regarding issues and concerns relevant to LGBTQ students; and (2) making developmentally appropriate information about LGBTQ issues available in school facilities, which may include providing pamphlets or books in school libraries, counseling offices, and nurseís offices.