Manni Jandernoa


While federal protections against discrimination for LGBTQ students have increased in the past few years, at the same time state legislatures have proposed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills targeting transgender youth. With more students identifying as transgender or nonbinary, there is a need for clear policies on the usage of chosen names and pronouns in K-12 public schools. Schools need to be prepared to handle transgender and nonbinary students before a need arises. This article discusses the potential conflicts between the individual interests involved when name and pronoun policies are applied in K-12 public schools.

When drafting and enforcing name and pronoun policies, school administrators must navigate the disconnect between prioritizing student well-being, teachers’ rights, parental demands, and complying with sometimes conflicting state and federal laws. Public schools should create policies that support transgender and nonbinary students through the usage of gender-affirming names and pronouns not only to follow federal law, but also to support the students’ health, well-being, and academic success. Ultimately, student well-being should be the priority.

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