Transgender and Non-Conforming Gender Spaces at Harwood
Recently, new guidelines for the implementation of Title IX regulation (34 C.F.R. § 106.33) were issued to schools across Vermont. Since 2009, schools have been required to allow transgender and non-conforming gender students to access bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with students’ identified gender, and to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education and/or co-curricular athletic activities, as are all other students. In accordance with the new guidelines we have completed remodeling two bathrooms and a locker room area near the gymnasium into gender neutral facilities. Please be aware that these spaces are now open and available for use.
Gender Neutral Facilities
The remodeling of these spaces includes the following components:
- The bathrooms located in the hallway near the locker rooms are refurbished to be accessed by individuals regardless of their gender identity or expression. These bathrooms have multiple, individual stalls that provide privacy when in use.
- For anyone that is uncomfortable accessing the gender neutral bathrooms, there are numerous bathrooms throughout the school that offer a more traditional gender identification.
- The space that once was used as the varsity girl’s locker room has been remodeled to be a gender neutral changing room with private stalls. It has a private, separate entrance and does not have access to either the boys’ or girls main locker rooms.
- Information regarding the Gender Neutral spaces will be shared with the faculty, staff and students between February 10th and 14th.
- A plan to discuss gender neutral spaces and the appropriate use of these spaces will occur with the middle school students the week of February 13th.
- Information will go out to parents and the Harwood Union website on February 13th. Harwood Union continues to be committed to its mission; that is “to provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner and inspired to contribute to a democratic society”, and provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students and staff. We recognize the high level of sensitivity of this topic and welcome any questions and/or concerns that students and/or families may have as we move forward.
Use this link to find the Field Memo and the Best Practices documents, issued by the Vermont Department of Education.
Lisa Atwood and Amy Rex