Gender Justice Launches Cool 4 School Toolkit on Transgender Rights
Gender Justice has launched a public education toolkit to inform students, their families, and their schools about legal protections for transgender, non-binary, two-spirit and other gender non-conforming students returning to Minnesota classrooms.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2022
Erin Hart, Communications Director
Gender Justice has launched a public education toolkit to inform students, their families, and their schools about legal protections for transgender, non-binary, two-spirit and other gender non-conforming students returning to Minnesota classrooms. The toolkit, “Cool 4 School” also seeks to provide transgender students and their families with concrete, easy-to-use resources to help them combat discrimination if or when it occurs.
Minnesota students just returned to school from summer break. It’s a time of joyous learning, new friends, and self-discovery. Many students will have changed over the summer. For some, it’s the first time they’ll return to school with a new name, pronouns, and gender identity.
What has NOT changed is schools’ legal obligations to respect and support them — and protections for transgender students are stronger than ever.
“With increased attacks and disinformation on transgender students and athletes on the rise in our country, it’s important to keep communities informed about their rights and the resources available to them,” said Megan Peterson, Executive Director at Gender Justice. “We have gone to court and won on behalf of transgender students and their families, and we will keep fighting to make sure schools and administrators follow the law.”
Minnesota law unequivocally entitles all students to:
- Use the same restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities as other students;
- Use the restrooms, locker rooms, and facilities that align with their gender identity;
- Participate in school-related activities, including on athletic teams, in a way that is consistent with their gender identity;
- Be protected from bullying.
“The Minnesota Constitution, as well as the Minnesota Human Rights Act, protect transgender students at school,” said Erin Maye Quade, Advocacy Director at Gender Justice. “Unfortunately, the law doesn’t automatically end discrimination against transgender students; but it does give students and their families a powerful tool to fight back. The goal of our work is to teach students and families how to use that tool.”
The Cool 4 School toolkit provides transgender students, their families, friends, and Minnesota educators and school administrators with materials including Know Your Rights handouts and sample advocacy letters to help students and their families use the law to advocate for themselves if and when they do face discrimination.