Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael A. Durso and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack R. Smith released the following statement in response to the Trump administration's decision to rescind federal protections for transgender students in schools:
"The Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) reaffirm our commitment to providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other personal characteristics. As part of our longstanding effort to fulfill this commitment to the social and emotional well-being of each and every student in our district, MCPS developed Guidelines Regarding Student Gender Identity Matters.
“Our MCPS guidelines were developed prior to the Obama administration's guidance, which interpreted federal law to prohibit discrimination based on students’ transgender status, and our MCPS guidelines will remain in place notwithstanding the Trump administration's recent actions, which withdraw the Obama administration’s guidance and leave this issue for school districts and states to address. The MCPS guidelines are aligned with our interpretation of the civil rights guarantees set forth in Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, as well as the Maryland State Department of Education’s Providing Safe Spaces for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth: Guidelines for Gender Identity Non-Discrimination, and our own policies and regulations. The MCPS guidelines protect student privacy and confidentiality and they safeguard against discrimination, stigmatization, bullying and/or harassment of transgender students. In our schools, they have provided a workable and consistent framework for MCPS staff to work together with parents and guardians to support students so they may actively participate in school life consistent with their asserted gender identity."
Guidelines Regarding Student Gender Identity Matters is available on our website at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/departments/studentservices/gender-identity-matters.pdf.