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A04576 Summary:

COSPNSRRamos, Reyes, Bronson, Lavine, Glick, Seawright, Dinowitz, Hyndman, Gallagher, Gonzalez-Rojas, Epstein, Simon, Forrest, Raga, O'Donnell, Bores, Shimsky, Hevesi, Rivera, Fahy, Davila, Zaccaro, Cruz, Rosenthal L, Lucas, Shrestha, Pheffer Amato, Gibbs, Levenberg, Lee, Burdick, Thiele, Ardila, Bichotte Hermelyn, Mamdani, Kim, Taylor
Amd §13, Ed L
Requires the board of education and the trustees or sole trustee of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students.
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A04576 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the board of education and the trustees or sole trustee of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To ensure that New York's public school districts have procedures in place to implement the anti-discrimination requirements of the Dignity for All Students Act, as they pertain to transgender and gender non-con- forming students.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends section 13 of the education law by adding a new subdivision 6. The new subdivision requires school districts to develop policies and procedures to: Ensure that schools and school employees treat students consistently with their gender identity or expression, including using pronouns and names consistent with the student's gender identity or expression; Allow students to participate in sex-segregated activities and access sex-segregated facilities in manner consistent with the student's gender identity or expression; protect students' privacy related to their transgender or gender noncon- forming status. Section 2 sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: New York's Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) was signed into law in 2010 and first implemented in 2012. DASA seeks to provide New York State's public schools with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property or at school functions. Notably, DASA seeks to prevent discrimination on the basis of a student's gender identity or expression, among other characteristics including race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, or sex. DASA's protection of transgender and gender non-conforming students is especially important considering the experi- ences of LGBTQ youth in schools. According to the 2015 National School Climate Survey by GLSEN, the overwhelming majority of LGBTQ students routinely hear anti-LGBT language and experience victimization and discrimination at school, including: Nationally, 43.3% of LGBTQ students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. Half of New York LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment at school based on their sexual orientation or gender expression-16% of New York LGBTQ students reported being physically harassed and 6% reported being physically assaulted due to their gender expression-85% of New York LGBTQ students heard negative remarks about gender expression at school, with 30% of New York students reporting such remarks from teachers or other school staff-46% of New York transgender students had been prevented by their school from using their preferred name or pronoun, and 66% had been required to use a bathroom or locker room of their sex assigned at birth. The victimization and discrimination of LGBTQ students has devastating effects. Transgender and gender non-conforming students experiencing victimization due to their gender expression were almost three times as likely to have missed school in a given month, had lower GPAs than students who experienced less harassment, experienced lower self-esteem and higher incidences of depression and suicidal idea- tion. As the results of the GLSEN survey demonstrate, many transgender and gender nonconforming students here in New York continue to face discrimination and hostility while at school, from fellow students, teachers, and administrative policies alike. This legislation would help ensure that the implementation of DASA, partic- ularly as the law pertains to transgender and gender nonconforming students, is as effective and tailored to the unique needs of these students as possible. By codifying a requirement that school districts have procedures and policies in place to ensure that they treat students consistently with their gender identity or expression, allow students to access sex-segregated facilities and activities consistent with their gender identity or expression, and protect the privacy of data related to students' transgender or gender nonconforming status, this legis- lation will help guide school districts towards best practices for creating a safe, healthy learning environment for all students. The policies specified in this bill are consistent with Title IX guidance provided in a "Dear Colleague" memo issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education on May 13, 2016, as well as a July 2015 memo entitled "Guidance to School Districts for Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment For Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students" issued by the New York State Education Depart- ment. In the wake of the Trump administration's February 2017 decision to rescind the May 2016 federal guidance, this legislation will provide New York's public schools with clarity on the policies that they will need to implement to be compliant with the anti-discrimination require- ments of Title IX and DASA.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018: A.10659 - referred to Education Committee 2019-2020: A.1592 - referred to Education Committee 2021-2022: A.840 - referred to Education Committee   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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