The following policies, together with their applicable administrative regulations, are relevant to the District’s commitment to ensuring that all students are provided equal opportunity and access to programs, services and activities, and that no student or employee is discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. Please note that this list is intended to serve as a summary of the Board-approved Policies and Administrative Regulations and should not be cited as official guidance. In addition, this list is not intended to be exhaustive of all policies or procedures that may be applicable to a particular situation.
|This Policy and Administrative Regulation codify the District's commitment to establish and enhance an atmosphere where people are encouraged and expected to exhibit language, attitudes and behavior that foster sound educational practices and allow people to grow socially and academically. A process for redress of concerns is also included.
|Policy 101 Equity reflects the District’s commitment to ensuring students, employees, or families who may have historically experienced opportunity or achievement gaps due to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, language, immigration status, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, creed, or religion no longer encounter barriers. In light of social and historical context, this policy provides explicit permission to treat people differently when circumstances necessitate that something different needs to be done.
|Equal Opportunity Program for School & Classroom/Employment Practices
|Policy 103 reflects the District's intent to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to reach their potential through the educational program and not be subject to discrimination. Similarly, Policy 104 ensures that all persons have equal access to all categories of employment in the District and not be subject to discrimination. Both policies also prohibit retaliation.
|Controversial and Value Issues
|This Policy and Administrative Regulation affirm the Board's commitment to the incorporation into the ongoing curriculum ideas that may transcend traditional curricular topics and raise questions about current social, political, technical, philosophical, religious and other challenges, regardless of the controversial nature of the topic as long as, on divided issues, differing views are carefully presented.
|Among other items related to athletics, Policy and Administrative Regulation 151 affirms the District's commitment to operate athletic programs in compliance with all applicable Federal and State laws including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
|Students Rights & Responsibilities
|This Policy and its associated Administrative Regulations (listed on this page) comprehensively address student behavior expectations (and consequences) as well as student rights. Among other topics, it covers school rules, student discipline, searches, freedom of expression, etc. Policy 235 and its Administrative Regulations also serve to promote and maintain a safe, positive and respectful environment that is free from bullying, hazing and harassment based upon disability, race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin. It also articulates reporting and investigation protocols as well as retaliation. See also LMSD Policy Notification regarding Prohibited Harassment, Bullying and Other Behavior.
|Transgender & Gender Diverse Students
|Policy and Administrative Regulation 259 articulate the District's intent to ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for al students - including, explicitly and importantly, gender expansive and transgender students - and provides related guidance to staff, students, parents/guardians and others to ensure equity and non-discrimination. See also GET Quick Reference Sheet, which provides a helpful summary of key provisions of Policy/AR 259.
Any concerns or complaints should be reported to a building administrator as soon as possible. Please note the District's policies prohibit retaliation for bringing forward a complaint or concern.
Contact Person: Megan Shafer, Assistant to the Superintendent for District Administration (email@example.com or 610-645-1928).
All Gender & Sexuality Alliances (GSA)
Each of the District's secondary schools offer a GSA club with the goal of promoting awareness and tolerance for all sexual orientations in our schools and our communities. The purpose of these clubs is to encourage a more holistically aware society where all people feel accepted and to provide educational and supportive services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered students and their straight allies. Activities include speakers, movies, discussions and trips to city-wide GSA meetings in Philadelphia.
Gender & Sexuality Inclusivity & Belonging
GSIB (Gender, Sexuality, Inclusivity and Belonging) Group functions as a volunteer group consisting of Staff within the Lower Merion School District (LMSD) and Family Representatives who work to support and address the unique needs of students and school personnel who may be experiencing both challenges and strengths related to their gender (transgender, gender diverse, intersex, etc.) and/or sexual (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, etc.) minority identities.
The group addresses areas such as: creating and maintaining supportive physical and learning spaces in school buildings; working toward an inclusive education curriculum; engaging with LMSD School AGSAs, students, and families; learning and supporting the professional development needs for staff; advocacy and outreach, through school events and education programs for families and members of the LMSD community and more.
Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE)
SAGE is a club at Harriton and Lower Merion high schools promoting awareness, discussion and advocacy about social justice issues that intersect with gender topics such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, race, ethnicity, class, disability, sexism and sexual violence. The four pillars that are the foundation of its mission are: women's empowerment, masculinity, LGBTQ+ rights and race & ethnicity. Along with various educational programming initiatives and events throughout the year, SAGE also sponsors an annual Social Justice Conference focusing on expanding students’ awareness of social injustices, differences and privilege, and inspiring them to act to make the world a better place.
Please note that the District has selected the following outside resources and information to provide additional understanding and insight to the community consistent with its policies, procedures, and strategic plan. The District does not endorse any outside entity and disclaims any responsibility for the evolving content of those sites.
- 8 Ways You Can be an Ally to Intersex Students
- 10 Ways Educators & GSA Advisors Can Support Asexual Students
- An Educators's Guide to Asexuality
- Answers to Your Questions About Individuals with Intersex Conditions
- Bisexual Resource Center
- Family Acceptance Project -Research-based resources for family, school personnel, practitioners and religious leaders
- GLSEN - National advocacy group focusing entirely on supporting LGBTQ students across the country. Free webinars on LGBT issues in K-12 education.
- Information for Foster & Adoptive Parents of LGBTQ Youth
- Local LGBTQ Youth Groups in Pennsylvania
- Parents & Friends of LGBTQ People (PFLAG) - Support for families and friends of LGBTQ individuals. Includes information about finding local chapters.
- Resources for Starting/Effectively Running an all Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) - Watershed CCS
- Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents
- Teaching Tolerance - Classroom resources, professional development & lesson plans for educators
- LGBTQ National Help Center - Talkline, Hotline, Online Peer Support Chat & Youth Online Talk Groups
- National Runaway Safeline (800)-786-2929
- The Trevor Project -Trained counselors available 24/7 for young people in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk. Available by phone (866-488-7386), IM or text.