Please see this link for the agenda to Wednesday's 3:45PM Local School Council meeting.
Have a wonderful day,
I am writing today to inform you of an important announcement from Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Student Protections and Title IX regarding changes to our restroom signage.
This past summer, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued guidance expanding the breadth of Title IX’s protections against discrimination on the basis of sex to include: (1) discrimination based on sexual orientation and (2) discrimination based on gender identity. For our school community this means that students must have fair and equitable access to restroom facilities that align with their gender identity and comfort. (We had previously implemented access to non-gendered bathrooms for students.)
I would like to assure you that this guidance is not new for CPS. These changes to Title IX are in direct alignment with our District’s 2016 guidelines regarding the support of trans and gender noncomforming students and our policy on nondiscrimination. Now, CPS is simply taking further steps to ensure a broader understanding of this requirement.
To ensure fair and equitable access to restroom facilities for students who are trans, non-binary, or gender nonconforming, school leaders have been tasked with posting new temporary paper bathroom signage which identify the fixtures available in the bathroom and makes it clear that our restrooms are open for use to anyone who feels comfortable in that space in alignment with their gender identity. Posting these signs is the initial step we are taking while the District works on a long-term strategy for permanent restroom signage that is gender inclusive.
Please note that we will still continue to provide a single stall or private restroom as an option for anyone who asks, while also maintaining separate restrooms for staff.
We understand that this change may bring up many questions and would like to provide some resources to learn more:
These changes to our bathroom signage are important because our students who identify as trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming are more likely to have negative experiences at school. These students suffer stigma, discrimination, harassment, and violence that can adversely affect their health and educational outcomes. Some statistics include:
I thank you for your support and look forward to working together to ensure that CPS provides all students with the safe, positive experience they deserve.
Have a wonderful day,
From the Desk of