DVFriends Transgender Policy

Introduction

Delaware Valley Friends School is committed to providing an educational environment that is safe, supportive, and nondiscriminatory for all students regardless of gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or on the basis of national or ethnic origin. As a Quaker school, we celebrate each individual’s uniqueness. DVFriends has adopted the following policy to address the specific needs of students questioning their gender identity, students identifying across a range of gender expressions and transgender students to ensure we continue to provide a safe and nurturing school for all. The policy provides guidelines but cannot anticipate every situation that may arise.  DVFriends will continue to thoughtfully treat each student and individual situation on a case-by-case basis, always with the student’s emotional, mental and physical health as the utmost priority. As specific situations arise, the School reserves the right to interpret these guidelines in light of individual circumstances.


Definitions 

Gender identity: refers to a person’s gendered identification, self-expression and appearance, corresponding to a person’s identification as male, female, or gender non-binary (i.e., something other than male or female). Gender identity may or may not correspond to a person’s sex assigned at birth.


Sex assigned at birth: refers to the sex designation, usually “male” or “female,” assigned to a person whey they were born (i.e., sex listed on their birth certificate).


Gender expression: refers to the manner in which a person represents or expresses one’s gender identity to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice or mannerisms.


Transgender or trans: is an umbrella term for people who experience and/or express their gender differently than what is typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. The term can also include people who identify outside the traditional gender binary (meaning that they identify as something other than male or female).


Gender transition: refers to the process of changing one’s gender from the sex assigned at birth to one’s gender identity. This concept is very broad and varies depending on the person. For some transgender individuals, this process involves primarily a social transition, such as changing an individual’s first name, pronouns, clothing, and appearance, and for others it also may include accessing treatment such as hormones, surgery and other medical components.


Cisgender: describes a person whose gender identity corresponds to their assigned sex at birth.

Sexual orientation: refers to a person’s emotional and sexual attraction to another person based on the gender of the other person. Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual.

Gender nonconforming: can be used to describe people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations, such as “feminine” boys, “masculine” girls, and those who are perceived as androgynous.


Gender: Attitudes, feelings, characteristics and behaviors that a given culture associated with being male or female and they are often labeled as “masculine” or “feminine”.


Process for Transition: A student and/or family may request a meeting with the Head of School, Associate Head of School and Academic Dean, or one of the school counselors to plan for a student’s transition. A student or their parent/guardian will ask the school to start treating the student in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity. DVFriends will accept a student’s assertion of his/her/their own gender identity when there is consistent, persistent and insistent assertion of gender identity or other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of a student’s core identity. There is no medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment threshold for students to meet in order to have their gender identity recognized and respected. Students may choose to have their parents participate in the transition, but parental participation is not required.

 

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