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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Sexual Orientation

The District seeks to ensure programs and practices are welcoming to all students regardless of their sexual orientation. The term “sexual orientation” refers to a person’s emotional, romantic  and/or sexual attraction to people of the other and/or same gender. Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual  and queer. Sexual orientation and gender identity are different. For example, transgender students may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.
 
 

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 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.
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.

103

104

Equal Opportunity Program for School & Classroom/Employment Practices Policy and Administrative Regulation  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.

246

346

446

546

Prohibited Harassment This Policy and Administrative Regulation  (AR 246  & 346, 446, 546) sets forth the District's  prohibition of harassment based upon handicap/disability, race, color,  age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin. It also articulates reporting and investigation protocols as well as prohibits retaliation. See also LMSD Policy Notification regarding Prohibited Harassment, Bullying and Other Behavior.
249 Bullying This Policy and Administrative Regulation explicitly prohibits bullying as well as informs of notification, reporting and investigation protocols. 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 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.
261 Anti-Hazing This Policy and Administrative Regulation affirms the District's commitment to prohibiting hazing and sets forth related practices. 

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, Senior Director  of Policy, Personnel & School Programs   (shaferm@lmsd.org or 610-645-1928).

District Programs/Resources

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. 

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

Talklines/Hotlines

  • 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.