CPS Issues New LGBT Guidelines

On Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the nation’s third largest school district, announced the implementation of new guidelines to support transgender students, employees and adults to ensure CPS schools are safe and welcoming environments for everyone.

The announcement marks the first time CPS will provide clear guidance on restroom, locker room and overnight trip accessibility. The school district will also establish support for employees and adults in addition to students.

“The guidelines released today will help ensure every student and adult in the CPS family can participate in an environment of complete tolerance and respect,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson in a press release. “CPS, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools. These guidelines build on our commitment to fostering healthy and supportive learning opportunities across the District so that each of our students can reach their full potential.”

The District’s new guidelines build on the student guidelines implemented in 2014, according to the release. Those guidelines clarified that transgender and gender nonconforming students should be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education, sexual health education, sports, clubs and school events as other students.

Today’s more expansive guidelines provide clear guidance on restroom, locker room and overnight trip accessibility, and support for transgender employees and adults.

The guidelines will also allow individuals to use restrooms that align with their gender identity. Students will be provided with alternative arrangements if they request more privacy.

CPS worked with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Mikva Challenge, Lambda Legal and Lurie Children’s Gender and Sex Development Program to develop the program.

Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools.