New CMS policy syncs with federal law to protect transgender students

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A policy has always been in place to make transgender students feel comfortable, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators president Erlene Lyde said the updated Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools policy now syncs with federal law Title IX, which protects transgender students in the classroom.

According to the updated policy, transgender students can either use the bathroom they want or still make a request for a private facility.

Staff must address students by name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity, something Lyde said she's done before.

“I've called them by what they preferred to be called. It's not what's on their record, but it's to make the child feel safe, and secure and nurtured and understood and accepted,” Lyde said.

North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2 said students must use public restrooms based on their biological gender, but CMS's updated policy follows a federal appeals court ruling that says that' is unconstitutional.

“Whatever the personal views are on this subject -- I just want us all to know -- that our first and foremost duty is to take care of children,” Lyde said.

Parents said the policy makes it easier for students to learn and without worrying about their environment.

“You have to accept them for what they are. We're maybe not going to understand everything about it, but we can't really alienate people,” parent Kelly Hagemann said.

The CMAE president said teachers will get updated training on the new CMS policy for the new school year.

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