HAVERTOWN, PA — Havertown Area Community Action Network (HCAN), a grassroots campaign founded by concerned parents shortly after Trump’s election, and supporters advocated for an official district-wide policy on transgender students bathroom access to the board of school directors earlier this month, reports Lois Puglionesi for The Delco Times.
Around half a dozen speakers addressed the school board regarding the issue. Network member Jean Lutes began her statement by pointing out progress already made within Haverford’s walls, such as the Gay-Straight Alliance, and empathetic teachers who strive to do the right thing for their students.
Unfortunately, these teachers do so “…without clear guidance set at the highest level. We believe we’ve reached a moment when it’s time to take the next step in our approach to students who are gender non-conforming … We should have a comprehensive, district-wide policy on transgender rights,” said Lutes.
Havertown Area Community Action Network is also requesting that officials add specific language regarding gender identity and expression to current anti-harassment policy, which presently only includes sexual orientation.
Lastly, Lutes asked to establish a committee of community members to address transgender policy.
Without such policy, teachers and administrators must operate without clear guidelines, while students and parents may not know their rights, said network member Karen Vitale.
“Both sides are flying blind and that leaves everyone more vulnerable … With policies in place everyone has a clear sense of how to proceed within set parameters,” Vitale said.
Vitale said the meeting was very positive. “It seems that our voices were heard and there was no adversarial relationship … we’re going to continue to make our voices heard.”
Joanne Glusman, president of Main Line Youth Alliance, pointed out that districts like Lower Merion, Radnor, Marple Newtown and Great Valley have adopted transgender policies.
Superintendent Mary Reusche issued a statement stating that the district is “undergoing a process to review current policy documents “to ensure our current language is inclusive of all of our students. We are also examining policies other area districts … have adopted.”
Read the full story about Haverford’s transgender bathroom policy here at the Delco Times.