Are there any laws protecting transgender public school students in Connecticut?
Yes. Connecticut public schools must allow all children an equal opportunity to participate in school regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (Conn. Gen. Stat. 10-15c).
In addition to Conn. Gen. Stat. 10-15C discussed above, on February 23, 2017, Governor Dannel P. Malloy issued Executive Order No. 56, directing the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, to develop guidance for Connecticut school districts on the rights, responsibilities and best educational practices for transgender students. The guidance document is designed to assist schools and districts implementing civil rights protections for transgender students under state and federal laws and to foster an educational environment that is safe and inclusive. See https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/TitleIX/transgender_guidance_faq.pdf?la=en.
The guidelines include the following:
- Schools should respect a transgender student’s name and pronouns;
- Schools should respect transgender students’ privacy regarding any medical information, previous names, etc.;
- The name and gender on a student’s records should conform to the student’s gender identity;
- Transgender students should be able to use the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that accord with their gender identity;
- In any sex-segregated activities (including athletics), transgender students should be able to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity.
Also, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) views public schools and public colleges as public accommodations (see the section above on Public Accommodations).