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GLSEN NJ CELEBRATES NEW AFFIRMING LAW

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Carol Watchler, GLSEN Central NJ Chapter Co-Chair, or Philip McCormick, GLSEN Northern NJ Chapter Co-Chair, please contact: 
Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, cathy@targetcue.com

GLSEN NEW JERSEY CHAPTERS CELEBRATE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION AFFIRMING TRANS STUDENTS’ RIGHTS

(New York, NY) - July 24, 2017 - On July 21, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law legislation (S3067/A4652) requiring the state education commission to draft guidelines to ensure that schools create a safe, non-discriminatory environment for transgender students. The legislation mandates that schools be told to permit students to use the locker room or bathroom that fits their own gender identity, and that schools require transgender students to be addressed by their preferred name and pronoun.

In response, Carol Watchler, co-chair of GLSEN Central New Jersey, released the following statement:

“This is a powerful law, and it should be a great help to us in our work to assist school districts and all educators in protecting transgender and gender-nonconforming students. I believe this is one of the most significant steps that has happened in New Jersey to date in our efforts to ensure appropriate policy, and in our work to ensure the safety and inclusion of transgender and gender-nonconforming students.“

“We are grateful to the Governor, the sponsors of this legislation and all who voted for it in recognizing the urgency of this concern, and the need for the Department of Education to issue guidance to school districts in establishing appropriate policy to fully protect all students.”

Enthusiasm about the new law was immediate for transgender student Kyle Johnson, a recent New Jersey high school graduate, who stated, “It's everything we've been asking of the administration, but now they have to listen. This is going to be such an improvement on a trans student’s high school experience!”

Philip McCormick, co-chair of GLSEN Northern New Jersey, added:

“The passage of this legislation is critical to the well-being and success of our transgender and gender non-conforming students. Our young people need to feel respected, included, and most of all, safe, in their schools before they can truly strive to be their best academic selves. We are thankful for our state leadership’s recognition of this, and for their advocacy in working to support all of our young people!”

About GLSEN

GLSEN creates safe and inclusive K-12 schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of community-led chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.

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