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OutFront Minnesota praises MDE’s endorsement of trans-student toolkit



For further information, contact:                Monica Meyer, (612) 817-3480


July 19, 2017

OutFront Minnesota praises MDE’s endorsement of trans-student toolkit

(Minneapolis) – Today’s vote by the Minnesota Department of Education’s School Safety Technical Council to support MDE’s draft toolkit for supporting transgender and gender-nonconforming students is a critical step forward in promoting safety for all students, says Monica Meyer, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota, the state’s leading direct-service and public-policy agency for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and its allies.  

“In the wake of decisions by the federal government to pull back from the strong support trans students have seen in recent years, today’s vote sends a powerful message that Minnesota will stand strong to help school districts meet the needs of these students and their families,” says Meyer.  “Minnesotans know that all students in public schools deserve a safe environment in which to learn and thrive.”

“It is important to recognize that the MDE toolkit is a set of recommended best practices,” notes OutFront Minnesota School Equity Director Esmé Rodríguez.  “Every year, our staff travels thousands of miles, meeting with school administrators, teachers, and staff in every part of Minnesota.  They are searching for recommendations as to how they can best support transgender and gender non-conforming students,” Rodríguez said Wednesday.  “Without a doubt, some of the questions that come up for districts, students, and families can be complex and challenging.  This toolkit will likely not answer every conceivable question that may arise, but it can be helpful in setting a standard which districts can strive to meet.”

Among the recommendations in the toolkit, some that may be most useful focus on the broad recognition of appropriate names and pronouns for students, access for all students to restrooms consistent with their gender identities and expressions, and working with families to develop individualized plans for supporting students.  “National reports indicate that substantial numbers of transgender and gender non-conforming students consider or attempt suicide because of rejection, hostility, and violence that they encounter at school,” added Rodríguez  “Toolkits such as MDE’s can help improve the toxic climate some students experience and set them on a path for greater academic and personal success.  We applaud today’s vote and encourage districts across Minnesota to adopt these practices.”


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