Exploring the Rhetoric: How State Gender Diversity Laws Address Rights for Gender-Diverse Students
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In 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew Obama-era civil rights protections for transgender students in public school in the United States (US). Thus, policies regarding the rights and treatment of sex-/gender-diverse persons—primarily gender non-conforming students—were left in the hands of states and school districts. This article begins with a summary of recent changes in US state educational legislation and policies that purport to help protect gender-diverse students. It then analyzes over twenty hours of public comment at community school district meetings, highlighting opposing rhetoric associated with gender diversity via state educational policy reform for one state in the US—Nevada. Understandings of “rights” and of “safety” are at the core of public statements on gender diversity policies. We analyzed these statements to support the argument that social justice-oriented approaches to educational learning environments are key to empowering administrators, educators, students, and communities—both conceptually and practically. Discussions and findings are intended for use in gender diversity policy education, future advocacy, research, and training. We ask: after passing such legislation, how does the state enforce holistic inclusion based on gender identity? We argue that examining strategies initiated by communities, educators, students, parents, and schools to counteract the marginalization of disadvantaged youth might help in this endeavor.
Education Law | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Exploring the Rhetoric: How State Gender Diversity Laws Address Rights for Gender-Diverse Students.
Critical Criminology, 29