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Updated regulation in Delaware schools would bar students from self-identifying their gender without parental permission

Updated regulation in Delaware schools would bar students from self-identifying their gender without parental permission

Schools in Delaware may be reversing protections for transgender students. Photo by Lorie Shaull

Delaware is reversing a 2017 regulation that would allow students to self-identify their gender and race at school.

The Regulation

Known as Regulation 225, these protections were backed by both educators and LGBTI activists.

‘We have a diverse population of students inside of each public school in Delaware,’ said Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) president Mike Matthews.

‘We need to make sure that all students feel safe, secure and supported when they enter the doors to their school. I’m proud of this organization for supporting Regulation 225, which will help protect students against discrimination in our schools no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.’

The Reversal

Now, Democratic lawmakers in the state have apparently given into the Republicans’ criticism of the bill. So while the state’s Republicans are celebrating this regulating being overturned, many are concerned about how it will affect the wellbeing of transgender students.

‘Under the revised, so-called school anti-discrimination regulation, students who are transgender will not be treated consistent with their core identity or accommodated in any way unless the school requests permission from a parent or guardian,’ the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Delaware said in a statement.

On the other hand, a Facebook group opposed to the regulation, United Opposition to DE Regulation 225, is celebrating.

‘This is a victory,’ members of the group wrote. ‘The regulation is useless now.’

Those opposed to the regulation allegedly take issue with the ‘trans agenda’ and the idea that a child will be ‘keeping secrets’ from parents (who may not be supportive).

Protecting trans students in Delaware

‘Transgender students are already at risk of violence in schools and family rejection,’ Delaware ACLU director Kathleen MacRae said in the statement released by the organization.

‘This proposed regulation increases the odds that both of these negative impacts will harm more Delaware youth. Students should not be forced to choose between abuse at home or basic dignity at school—such as being called by appropriate gender pronouns or being able to use facilities that match who they are—simply because of widespread ignorance about and bigotry against transgender people.’

MacRae called on Delaware Governor John Carney to fix this regulation before it becomes finalized.

‘Regulation 225 is not yet final,’ MacRae wrote. ‘The ACLU of Delaware encourages Delawareans to tell Governor Carney that he cannot run from this issue. He must either stand up for these vulnerable students or abandon them. It is his choice.’

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