SIECUS Logo

Support SIECUS!

Make sexuality education available to all.

Stay informed!

Sign up for SIECUS newsletters, updates, action alerts, and more!

Quick Links

PrEP
Wisconsin: Shorewood School District to Adopt Supportive Transgender Policy

By Emer Valdez, SIECUS Intern

In March2014, the Shorewood School District, Wisconsin, became the first district in the Milwaukee area to implement a policy that both recognizes and protects transgender students. Spearheaded by Shorewood high school principal Tim Kenney and drafted by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, with help from the district’s policy committee, the new policy requires teachers to address students by their preferred names and gender pronouns. In addition, students will also be able to use bathrooms and play on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Gender neutral bathrooms and locker rooms will also be made available.[1]

The official goal of the policy change is to provide a safe and appropriate learning environment for transgender students and to ensure the involvement of and respect from the district’s staff. Madison-based Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools director, Brian Jechums, stated that the guidelines “make it clear to students that transgender students are protected and give teachers the means to enforce that protection.”[2] Paru Shah, a member of the school board said that “Shorewood prides itself on being forward and progressive; every student in our schools should be in a safe learning environment.”[3]

Currently, five districts in the Madison area of Wisconsin have progressive transgender policies, and Shorewood is now the sixth district in the state to implement such policies.[4] In addition, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sent out new guidelines for a transgender student athlete participation policy to be implemented in the six districts.[5] The policies are in the beginning stages of implementation, so there is currently no official feedback on successes and/or challenges.

Other states, such as California, have also implemented strong transgender policies and guidelines in their school districts.[6] For more information on transgender student policy in schools, see the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.[7]


[1] Michael Meidenbauer, “Shorewood adopts transgender students guidelines, protections,” March 5, 2014, accessed March 13, 2014, http://m.shorewoodnow.com/news/shorewood-adopts-transgender-student-guidelines-protections-b99218174z1-248610891.html.

[2]Ibid.

[3]Wisconsin Gazette, “Shorewood school district adopts transgender-support policy,” March 5, 2014, accessed March 13, 2014, http://www.wisconsingazette.com/milwaukee-gaze/shorewood-school-district-adopts-transgender-supportive-policy.html.

[4] Michael Meidenbauer, “Shorewood adopts transgender students guidelines, protections,” March 5, 2014, accessed March 13, 2014, http://m.shorewoodnow.com/news/shorewood-adopts-transgender-student-guidelines-protections-b99218174z1-248610891.html.

[5] “Transgender Participation Policy” Accessed March 20, 2014 http://media.wix.com/ugd/2bc3fc_95ec28cdb3ee4df89ee624229b9caa48.pdf.

[6] California Safe Schools Coalition, “Model School District Policy Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students,” accessed March 20, 2014, https://www.genderspectrum.org/images/stories/csscmodelpolicy1209.pdf.

[7]Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, “Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students,” accessed March 10, 2014, http://www.transequality.org/PDFs/Trans_ModelPolicy_2013.pdf.

Email a Friend Print this Page Give us your feedback
National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education