Here We Go: Baltimore Public Schools to Allow Transgender Students to Use Preferred Names and Pronouns and Have Access to Locker Rooms and Bathrooms of Their Choice

Oliver Klapp, 16, a junior at Bard High School Early College discusses a new policy that would codify transgender students’ rights to use the names, pronouns and bathrooms that align with their gender identity. The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners is considering the sex and gender based discrimination policy. (© Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Baltimore City Public Schools’ board of commissions approved a policy that goes above state requirements by allowing transgender students to use their preferred names and pronouns and access locker rooms and bathrooms of the opposite sex.

The board unanimously (8-0) passed the new policy, known as JBB, at its latest meeting on Tuesday to a chorus of cheers from LGBT advocates holding up signs that read “We are all human.”

Under the new rules, students will have the ability to use the pronouns and names of their choosing without being required to have already changed their name legally. The transgender students may also use locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Also, schools can not force transgender students to use a private or gender-neutral bathroom.

The school district’s new policy states that students who object to the policy will be provided with a “safe non-stigmatizing alternative.”

“I applaud the School Board for unanimously passing policy JBB,” Baltimore City Council Member Zeke Cohen wrote on Twitter. “In the next few weeks, The City Council will introduce legislation to protect and affirm our transgender siblings. To the LGBTQ youth and educators: You led, policy makers followed. Your voices mattered. You matter.”

The pro-LGBT American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland also praised the policy.

As The Baltimore Sun notes, the policy is unclear about whether or not biologically male transgender students will be allowed to attend the district’s only all-female school. But the policy does ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and gender nonconforming status.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith