Guidance: Ensuring a LGBTQ-Inclusive School Climate

March 1, 2017

DC public charter schools serve all students who are residents of the District of Columbia, and operate in accordance with District of Columbia and federal provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, age, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, marital status, or need for special education services.

The DC Human Rights Act prohibits a DC public charter school from, among other things, restricting the access to the use of any area, facility, service or program, or the benefit of any program or activity based upon actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. (1)

The DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) agrees with D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine that “[a]ll students . . . should be able to learn in safety and dignity.”

This guidance is designed to provide information and resources LEAs may find useful as they work to provide a school environment that is welcoming of all LGBTQ students, including transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

Sample Policies

District of Columbia Public Schools - Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Policy Guidance (Letter to DCPS Community from Chancellor Wilson)

Chicago Public Schools - Guidelines Regarding the Support of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students

Los Angeles Unified School District - Transgender Students – Ensuring Equity and Nondiscrimination

U.S. Department of Education - Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students

Public Statements

U.S. Department of Education, Dear Colleague Letter from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on gay-straight alliances, including legal guidelines for complying with the Equal Access Act.

[1] DC Code § 2-1402.41(1) D.C. Human Rights Act. To address the issue of use of gender-specific restrooms, a DC Public Charter School must “allow individuals the right to use gender-specific restrooms and other gender-specific facilities such as dressing rooms . . . that are consistent with their gender identity or expression." 4 DCMR § 802.1.

U.S. Department of Education, Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying

The resources listed below are only included as a representative sampling of the types of organizations available for the DC public charter school community. DC PCSB does not support or endorse these organization, their website content, any of their expressed views, or any services they offer.

Other Resources