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Statement on JCPS adding gender identity to district policies
LEXINGTON, Ky. – August 24, 2015 – GLSEN Bluegrass congratulates the Jefferson County Public School Board (JCPS) on passing a fully-inclusive non-discrimination policy that covers students, staff and faculty throughout the school system. The new policy includes gender identity, along with sexual orientation, as a protected category in the school system’s nondiscrimination policy.
“We are pleased to see JCPS pass this policy and join Fayette County as the only two school districts in the state with fully inclusive policies that protect students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Zoey Peach, chair of GLSEN Bluegrass. “With the knowledge that they are protected from bullying and discrimination, these policies will ensure a safe and affirming school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in these schools.”
"As a JCPS student, I faced a lot of marginalization from students and faculty over my gender identity when I transitioned from female to male,” said Casey Hoke, LGBT arts lecturer and student. “This marginalization was often unreported as I didn't know who to go to. With this policy, students will be assured that they can go to the school administration and find justice and support."
Most LGBT students attending middle and high school in Kentucky report having been victimized at school. Eight out of 10 LGBT students reported harassment because of their sexual orientation and six out of 10 because of their gender expression, according to the Kentucky state snapshot of GLSEN’s 2013 National School Climate Survey.
GLSEN’s report From Statehouse to Schoolhouse found that LGBT students experience lower levels of victimization and harassment in schools with fully enumerated anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies compared with their peers in schools without such policies. GLSEN Bluegrass continues to encourage the Kentucky General Assembly to pass statewide anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies to protect all students throughout the Commonwealth.
About GLSEN Bluegrass
GLSEN Bluegrass services the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky, working for safe and inclusive schools for all students. The chapter supports Gay-Straight Alliances, conducts trainings for educators and other school professionals, and works with community partners to ensure safe and inclusive schools for all students.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.