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.
|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 (email@example.com or 610-645-1928).
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.
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.
- Lower Merion Gender Awareness and Inclusion Network (GAIN) is a group of parents/guardians committed to advocating for the many transgender, non-binary, gender creative and gender expansive students in the District. GAIN's goal is to support families in working with the District to ensure that their GET (Gender Expansive and Transgender) students are safe and happy at school. GAIN welcomes all parents regardless of the gender identity of their children. For more information or questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GET Resource Guide - Watershed Counseling & Consultation Services - The GET Resource Guide provides resources for students, school personnel and parents on a variety of topics relevant to supporting and affirming GET individuals. For the most recent version of the guide, click here.
- Local LGBTQ Youth Programs in Pennsylvania
- Answers to Questions about Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression
- GLSEN - National advocacy group focusing entirely on supporting LGBTQ students in schools across the country. Free webinars on LGBT issues in K-12 education.
- Teaching Tolerance - Classroom resources, professional development & lesson plans for educators
- Gender Spectrum - Parenting & Family considerations for GET Youth
- Parents & Friends of LGBTQ People (PFLAG) . - Support for families and friends of LGBTQ individuals. Includes information about finding local chapters.
- Our Trans Loved Ones - Questions and answers for parents, families and friends of people who are transgender and gender expansive
- GET Parent Support Group in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania - contact Candice Chaplin (Contact: email@example.com)
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - Exploring resources for Transgender & Gender Expansive children and families
- Family Acceptance Project - Research-based resource for family, school personnel, practitioners and religious leaders
- Information for Foster & Adoptive Parents of LGBTQ Youth
- Supporting Your LGBTQ Youth: A Guide for Foster Parents
- 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.
- Trans Lifeline - Suicide Prevention Hotline (877-565-8860)