Fort Worth Independent School District implements guideline for transgender students that includes “individual support plans”


On July 19, 2016, the Fort Worth Independent School District adopted a new “Transgender Student Guideline.” The policy states that district employees will work to create “support plans” for transgender students: “School administrators, guidance counselors and educators shall engage with
parent(s)/guardian(s) and work collaboratively with them and the student to develop individual
support plans.” The policy explains that “any requests for necessary accommodations should be identified and addressed in the student individual support plan.” The policy also appears to explain that students who identify as transgender can use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choosing:

If a restroom or related facility accommodation is requested, the campus administrator should meet with the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) to discuss the student’s request for access to restrooms, locker rooms, or changing facilities. Each accommodation request will be reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case basis based upon the particular circumstances of the individual student and school facilities. The goal will be the creation of a safe and supportive environment for students impacted by the accommodation with due recognition of the privacy rights of all students.

The policy further explains: “As a general rule, in all facilities or activities when students may be separated by gender, transgender students may participate in accordance with the student individual support plan.”

The school district reportedly introduced a transgender guideline previously that stated school staff could keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth explained that the previous guideline for transgender students left parents in the dark on the gender identity of their children:

Earlier guidelines announced in April noted that transitioning to a different gender is a private matter and that students could choose whether to have their parents involved. The policy said informing a parent could carry risks for a child who may be punished.