New Transgender 'Toolkit' Approved by Minnesota Department of Education

July 20, 2017 05:15 AM

The Minnesota Department of Education will begin distributing a new toolkit resources to school district on supporting transgender and gender non-conforming students.

The move came Wednesday during a special meeting of the state's School Safety Technical Assistance Council.

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Proponents of transgender rights applauded the move, while opponents warned council members of the problems that would come from allowing schools to pursue policies that would allow transgender students access to restrooms of their choice.

Charlene Briner, deputy commissioner at Minnesota's Department of Education, said the toolkit is not meant as a mandate to schools.

"This is a collection of resources and best practices," she said. "A lot of these decisions are made at the local level by administrators."

She explained the 11-page document is to help guide school boards and school administrators.

"Schools are already dealing with this and they've been asking for some help, because these issues are uncomfortable, both for the community and the families of transgender individuals," Briner said.

The toolkit includes topics to address pronoun use of transgender students, as well as bathroom policies and locker room privacy concerns.

Read the full draft here.

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Kirsten Swanson

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