Equity & Diversity

Watch: Transgender Student, Her Teacher Discuss How School Handled Transition

By Evie Blad — August 05, 2016 1 min read
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As the U.S. Supreme Court considers taking up a case about transgender student rights, many schools are asking questions about how to address the unique concerns posed by students who publicly transition between gender identities.

The question of schools’ legal obligations to transgender students has been the subject of sharp debate in recent months, and nearly half of all states are now in lawsuits with the Obama administration over the issue.

While much of the public focus has been on the bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students are allowed to use, the students themselves say belonging at school after a gender transition involves a much broader array of issues, such as having teachers and peers change the pronouns and names they use, and acceptance of new dress and hair styles.

“Being trans is about so, so much more than the bathroom issue,” Kentucky student Maddie Dalton told our Education Week team when we profiled her in a piece for PBS Newshour earlier this year.

While some schools are awaiting further legal clarity before they change their policies, some have already done so.

Dalton’s high school in Louisville worked with her to adjust its policies when she began identifying as female. Because Dalton, her teacher, and her principal all had such interesting personal insights on the experience, we’ve compiled this interactive collection of bonus videos that may help educators and administrators understand the transgender-student experience. They include Dalton’s thoughts on her own transition, insights from a teacher who leads her schools Gay-Straight Alliance, an explanation from her principal of the school’s policy changes, and our original PBS Newshour piece.

If you’d like separate, shareable video links, you can access them here:

Related reading on transgender students:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.