Lisbon Central School District labels perceived harassment based on gender identity and transgender status as “sexual harassment”; appears to keep gender identity of students secret from parents


Lisbon Central School District has multiple policies in place dealing with students who identify as transgender. In one policy titled “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” that is dated February 11, 2021, the district explains that “sexual harassment” includes what is perceived to be harassment against people based on “gender identity” and “transgender” status. The policy states:

Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity, and the status of being transgender.”

The policy then provides the following example of sexual harassment:

Sex stereotyping, which occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people’s ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.

In another policy titled “Student Gender Identity” that is also dated February 11, 2021, the district provides definitions for the terms “cisgender,” “gender identity,” “transgender,” and “transition.” The policy also mandates that district staff “use the name and pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity the student consistently asserts at school.” The policy then appears to explain that the gender identify of students may be kept secret from parents by stating that parents will be involved “as appropriate”:

When apprised of a student’s transgender or GNC status, the District will endeavor to engage the student and his or her parents or guardians, as appropriate, in an effort to agree upon a plan that will accommodate the student’s individual needs at school. Transgender and GNC students have the right to discuss and convey their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share this confidential information.

The policy also explains that “the District will allow a transgender or GNC student to use the restroom and locker room that corresponds to the student’s consistently expressed gender identity at school.” The policy further adds:

Physical education is a required part of the District’s curriculum. Where these classes are sex-segregated, students will be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity. Students will likewise be allowed to participate in intramural activities consistent with their gender identity.

For overnight field trips, students who identify as transgender will also be allowed to sleep in the same areas as their preferred gender. The policy explains that “in other circumstances where students may be sex-segregated, such as overnight field trips, students may be permitted to participate in accordance with the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school.”