Support of Students who are Transgender and/or Gender Expansive

  • Purpose: Lyons Township High School District 204 is committed to creating a safe and affirming environment where every member of our community can learn, grow, and belong. In order to better support students that are Transgender and/or Gender Expansive, LT is committed to providing guidance and resources to assist the specific needs of the student. This may include the creation of a Gender Support Plan.

    • Dress Code: Transgender and Gender Expansive students have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression that is consistent with the school dress code.
    • Discrimination/Harassment: Equal educational and extracurricular opportunities shall be available for all students without regard to color, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, gender identity, status of being homeless, immigration status, order of protection status, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy. Further, the District will not knowingly enter into agreements with any entity or any individual that discriminates against students on the basis of sex or any other protected status, except that the District remains viewpoint neutral when granting access to school facilities under Board of Education policy 8:20, Community Use of School Facilities. Any student may file a discrimination grievance by using Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.

    For additional information, please see Policy 7:10 (Equal Educational Opportunities) in the LTHS District #204 Board of Education Policy Manual.

    • Physical Education, Sexual Health Education, Sports, Clubs, and School Events: Transgender/Gender Expansive students have the same access and opportunity to participate in Physical Education, clubs & activities, and other health and wellness activities as all other students. Participation in competitive athletic activities and contact sports will follow the rules and regulations as outlined by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).
    • Restroom/Locker Room Accessibility: Students have access to All Gender bathrooms located at both North and South campus. Any student in need of an alternative locker room usage may be supported through contacting their classroom teacher, Physical Welfare Division Chair, Guidance Counselor, or as a part of a Gender Support Plan.
    • Names/Pronouns: The Lyons Township learning community works to support our students, staff and community members by calling them by their preferred name(s) and also using their preferred pronouns. If a student would like to have their name changed in the Student Information System, they can make this request by contacting Mr. Drew Eder directly, or their school counselor.  Students are also welcome to fill out the LTHS Gender Support Student Advocacy Form if they would like to be contacted for a meeting to learn more about the support available.  
    • Overnight School Trips: Transgender/Gender Expansive students are welcome to participate in all overnight trips and other student experiences. Supports and accommodations will be put into place in order to meet the needs of the individual student as needed. Specific supports can also be developed as a part of a Gender Support Plan.

    Gender Support Planing Protocol: Students, in partnership with their parent(s)/guardian(s) who are ready to socially transition may initiate a process to change their name, pronoun, attire, and/or access preferred activities and facilities. Not all Gender Expansive students and staff identify as being transgender, so transition may look different for each person and not all people who undergo a transition desire the same outcome. When appropriate, LTHS will develop a Gender Support Plan that will address the individual needs of the student. This plan could include, but is not limited to:

    • Access to bathrooms and other gender-neutral spaces 
    • Names, pronouns, or other gender markers 
    • Confidentiality - students and families dictate which individuals are notified of their identity
    • Identification of a trusted adult in the building 
    • A safety plan is developed for when a student feels violated or does not feel safe
    • Extracurricular activities, high school sports participation, and many other aspects of a student’s experience at LTHS are covered during the meeting 
    • Gender Support Coordinator/Liaison: This is a school staff member authorized to coordinate supports for individual transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive students. Drew Eder, Division Chair for Counseling & Student Support Services serves as the school coordinator/Liaison. Families or students can request a meeting with him via email at aeder@lths.net or by completing the Student Advocacy Form
    • Gender Support Plan: This is a document that may be used to create a shared understanding about the way in which a student’s gender identity will be accounted for and supported. Students and families seeking support plans will meet with Mr. Eder, and other members of the student’s team as appropriate, to manage a student’s accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

    Common Terminology and Definitions

    • Affirming: Acknowledging and supporting the identity of an individual
    • Affirmed Gender/Affirmed Name: The name and gender with which a person identifies. 
    • Ally: A person who is not LGBTQ+ but affirms and shows support for LGBTQ+ people and promotes  equality. 
    • Cisgender/Cis: Term used to describe people whose gender identity corresponds solely withtheir sex  assigned at birth. 
    • Gender Diversity: The wide range of gender identities, gender roles, and/or gender expressions that exist. 
    • Gender Expression: An individual’s characteristics and behaviors, such as appearance, dress,grooming,  mannerisms, voice or speech patterns, activities, and social interactions, that are perceived as  masculine, feminine, both, or neither. 
    • Gender Identity: A person’s internal, deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender that can include being female, male, another gender, non-binary, gender nonconforming, or no gender,  and is unrelated to the person’s sexassigned at birth. Gender identity is an innate part of a person’s identity; the responsibility for determining an individual’s gender identity rests with the individual.  Unlike gender expression, gender identity is not visible to others. 
    • Gender Expansive or Gender Nonconforming: Gender expression or identity that falls outside of  traditional, societal, or stereotyped expectations based on the sex assigned at birth. Gender expansive individuals may identify as male, female, some combination of both, or neither. 
    • Gender Pronouns: The set of words used to refer to someone without using their name. Common  examples include, but are not limited to, “she/her/hers,” “he/him/his,” “they/them/theirs,” and “ze/zir/zirs.”  
    • Gender Support Liaison: school staff authorized to coordinate supports for individual transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming students.  
    • Gender Support Plan: A document that may be used to create a shared understanding about the way in  which a student’s gender identity will be accounted for and supported at school. 
    • GSA: A GSA is a student-run organization that unites LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities. GSA is an abbreviation of either a Gender-Sexuality Alliance or Gay-Straight Alliance. PRISM is the GSA at LT.
    • Intersex: A general term used for the many ways in which a person can be born with chromosomes,  reproductive anatomy, and/or genitalia that do not fit the typical binary expectations of female or male.
    • LGBTQ+: A commonly used acronym referring to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community. The plus acknowledges that there are additional identities within the community. Other  iterations include LGBTQQIA (adding Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic). 
    • Misgendering: When a person intentionally or accidentally uses the incorrect name or pronouns to refer to a person. Intentional and/or persistent misgendering is a form of bullying and harassment. 
    • Non-binary: A term used to describe people whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female,  including those who identify as a gender other than male or female, as more than one gender, or as no gender. 
    • Outing: The act of disclosing information about another person’s gender identity or sexual orientation  without that person’s knowledge and/or consent. Outing by school officials can violate that student’s  privacy rights and put a student at risk of harm. 
    • Queer: An umbrella term used to describe a sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that does not conform to dominant social norms. While it was historically used as a derogatory slur, it has been reclaimed and used as an inclusive term among many LGBTQ people today.
    • Questioning: Being unsure of or exploring one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation. 
    • Sex Assigned at Birth: A label a person is given at birth, often based on a medical professional’s interpretation of the newborn’s physical characteristics.Common examples may be “male” or “female.” This binary assignment does not reflect the natural diversity of bodies or experiences. This is typically the sex reflected on one’s original birth certificate. 
    • Sexual Orientation: The term for someone’s romantic, emotional, physical, and/or sexual attraction to the same or different gender(s). Sexual orientation is distinct from gender identity. Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and  pansexual. 
    • Transgender/Trans: Individuals with a gender identity different than their sex assigned at birth. Transgender can be used as an umbrella term that encompasses diversity of gender identities and  expressions. Being transgender is not dependent on appearance, body parts, or medical procedures. 
    • Transition: The process whereby people may change their gender expression, bodies, and/or identity  documents to match their gender identity. Transition can be social (changing gender expression, using  facilities, using a different name/pronouns), medical (hormones and/or surgeries), and/or legal (changing name/gender marker on identity documents), and is different for every individual. It is common for gender transition to be an ongoing process and is unique to each person

    ** Terms from ISBE: ISBE: Supporting Transgender, Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming Students

Nondiscrimination Coordinator

Complaint Managers