Lee County School District announces plan to identify transgender students

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Lee County School District has come up with a plan for transgender students who want to be identified by their teachers and principal.

Students will be required to fill out some forms that are creating some controversy.

Some parents are concerned this is a way for the district to profile students.

On Tuesday, school board members adopted an Equity Guide which outlines how gay or transgender students can receive safe guards by the district.

If transgender students want teachers to address them by the gender they identify as they’ll be required to fill out what’s called a “Gender Support Plan” the document creating much of the controversy.

Parent Crystal Czyscon called the document discriminatory and freightning.

Czyscon was among the parents objecting to the form that asks some very personal questions like does the student have support at home and who knows about the students gender and it even asks for a plan if the student is outed.

Sharon McGill sat on the equity committee and said the forms were put in place to protect children and teachers.

“There are laws now in the state that teachers can’t call a student a name if it’s not their correct name,” McGill said.

She insisted no one was singling out transgender students and she said nobody is required to fill out the forms.

However, if they want teachers and administrators to acknowledge their gender identity they will be required to fill out the form.

“If they choose not to have accommodations they can certainly use their pronouns with friends at school but now if they want to we have to involve parents,” explained Jessica Duncan who is employed by the Lee School District.

The new guide and form is in place because of the ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ which opponents call the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’.

A federal lawsuit was filed against the state Monday in an attempt to block the new law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The ACLU of Florida said in a statement:

“With HB 1557 in effect, the ‘Dont’ Say Gay’ law has already begun to stigmatize LGBTQ+ people, isolate LGBTQ+ kids, and make teachers fearful of providing a welcoming and inclusive classroom. Without adequate guidelines from the school board on how this personal information will be used in schools, it is uncertain whether these forms could potentially serve as another way to isolate and harm transgender youth.”

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