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Lower Merion School District


Gender Identity & Biological Sex

The District seeks to ensure that its programs and practices are welcoming to all students regardless of their biological sex, gender identity and/or gender expression. In our policy, we define “gender identity” as a person’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither; most simply: how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity may change over time, or it may remain the same throughout one’s life. It may be the same as the gender one was assigned at birth, or it may be a different gender. The responsibility for determining an individual’s gender identity rests with the individual. By comparison, the term “biological sex” is the biological attributes such as anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones that inform whether a person is male, female, or intersex. Where sex refers to biology, gender refers to the cultural and social understandings that are layered on top of biology.

District Policies

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 biological sex, gender identity  and/or gender expression. 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.


Policy  Title Summary
006 Civility 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.



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. 
119 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.
151 Student Athletics 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.
235 Students Rights and Responsibilities Policy and Administrative Regulation 235 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.


Harassment, Bullying, and Hazing The purpose of this Policy is 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.
259 Gender Expansive & Transgender Students: Ensuring Equity and Nondiscrimination Policy and Administrative Regulation 259 articulate the District's intent to ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for all 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   ( or 610-645-1928).

District Programs/Resources

The list below reflects a sampling of relevant District-sponsored programs, activities and resources for students, staff and families seeking further information and opportunities for involvement.

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.

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. 

Name Change Form

This form may be used by any student and/or parent/guardian to request a student's first name be changed in LMSD's unofficial student records.

Additional Resources/Support

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.

General Resources