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Washoe Schools Cited As Model For Transgender Inclusion

Alexa Ard

The Obama administration is highlighting Washoe County as a model for how schools should treat transgender students. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The federal government has issued a guiding statement to schools nationwide, recommending they allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identities, or risk losing federal funds. Model policies include those implemented by the Washoe County School District last year.

"In our administrative regulation, we work with students to create an individualized plan for them based on what their parents, they, and the school work together to come up with."

That's Katherine Loudon, district director of counseling. She says those individualized plans include strategies to make sure transgender students have access to their preferred restrooms and that others refer to them with the correct name and pronouns. Loudon suggests that educators check out welcomingschools.org for more ideas on how to be inclusive for the transgender community.

Across the country, some politicians are saying they'll ignore the federal directive, calling it government overreach. 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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