The Oregon Department of Education recently released a plan intended to create schools that are “safe, inclusive, and welcoming” for students of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
“Oregon has been a national leader in protecting the civil rights for LGBTQ2SIA+ youth,” said ODE Director Colt Gill in a press release. “It was among the first states to allow students to identify as non-binary or gender-fluid and developed and distributed guidance to protect the rights of transgender students. It is now imperative that we seek legislative support and funding to fully engage our LGBTQ2SIA+ youth and provide education equity.”
The plan also aims to provide strategies to support students who are at higher risk to experience harassment, bullying, sexual assault, and violence while at school. In addition, according to the Oregon Health Authority, nearly half of gender diverse, lesbian, gay or bisexual eighth graders considered suicide.
“Every student should feel safe and welcome in Oregon’s schools. Our state has an opportunity to support the strengths and resilience of LGBTQ2SIA+ students in a way that values their lived experiences and identities,” said Governor Kate Brown. “I am committed to supporting strategies that are grounded in equity and will put students on a path to succeed from cradle to career.”
The Eugene Register Guard reported that the Eugene School District was the first in the state to create a policy that gives accommodations to transgender and gender nonconforming students, instead of having only a bullying prevention and discrimination policy.
The Corvallis School District also adapted a Gender Inclusive Policy in 2018.
By Samantha Sied