Supporting Sex/Gender Diverse Students


Overview

In 2015, the 78th Legislature of the state of Nevada passed Senate Bill 504, which was then signed into law by Governor Sandoval.  This bill required the Department of Education to expand its existing Model Policy on Safe and Respectful Learning Environments to include requirements and methods for reporting violations of the state’s recently revised anti-bullying laws and a host of required trainings.  The expansion to the Model Policy on Safe and Respectful Learning Environments was approved by the Legislative Commission in January 2017.

Senate Bill 225 was passed during the 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Brian Sandoval in June of 2017.  The language of SB 225 (2017) added a third requirement to the Model Policy for safe and respectful learning environments: “requirements and methods for addressing the rights and needs of persons of diverse gender identities or expressions.” (see NRS 388.133)  The state’s Model Policy on Safe and Respectful Learning Environments as required by NRS 388.133 sets the minimum standards for the policies that must be adopted by the boards of trustees of school districts or the governing bodies of charter schools, as required by NRS 388.134.

The Department of Education engaged in a comprehensive regulatory process, including engaging a diverse array of stakeholders, between July 2017 through October 2018, to develop regulatory language that met the requirements of state law. The resulting regulations can be found at the link below (see NAC 388.880); a summary outline of the provisions of that regulation specific to sex/gender diverse students has also been provided below.

These regulations became effective upon passage by the Legislative Commission on October 25, 2018.  Boards of trustees of school districts or governing bodies of charter schools must adopt the state’s Model Policy on Safe and Respectful Learning Environments, or they may adopt an expanded policy as long as it complies with all of the provisions of the state’s Model Policy on Safe and Respectful Learning Environments; this includes the provisions specific to sex/gender diverse students as found in NAC 388.880.

    Links to Online Resources

    State and Local Organizations 

    General resources for schools/educators:

    Resources for family members, caregivers, and community members:

    Resources for students:

    Relevant State and Federal Laws or Policies

    Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

    NOTE: This Dear Colleague Letter was first published on May 13, 2016, then rescinded on February 22, 2017, and re-instated on February 23, 2021.

    Nevada Revised Statutes 651.050 (defines places of public accommodation, to include schools)

    Nevada Revised Statutes 651.070 (outlines rights to equal enjoyment of places of public accommodation without discrimination or segregation)

    NAC 388.880 (see also outline below)

    These regulations became effective upon passage by the Legislative Commission and filing with the Office of the Secretary of State, which occurred on October 25, 2018.

    Check back for updated links to Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) Chapter 388 as they become available.

      Brief summary outline of NAC 388.880: 

      1. Subsection 1: Each school or district must address the rights and needs of persons with diverse gender identities or expressions:
        • on an individualized basis to foster the safe and healthy development of the gender identity and expression of each pupil
        • must consider the individual characteristics and unique circumstances of each person 
         
      2. Subsection 2: Each governing body must adopt a policy that:
        • includes an annual requirement for training of each member of the governing body and each employee concerning the requirements and needs of persons with diverse gender identities or expressions, which includes:
          • methods for appropriate engagement of parents/guardians of sex/gender diverse pupils
          • development and implementation of a plan to address the rights and needs of sex/gender diverse persons
          • instruction on appropriate definitions and terminology to describe the requirements, needs, and experiences  of sex/gender diverse persons  
           
        • has limitations on discipline except those behaviors that constitute bullying/cyberbullying or that violate a district regulation/policy
          and
        • a requirement that each administrator must convene a team to develop an individualized plan to address the rights and needs of the sex/gender diverse pupil
          • the team includes the pupil, the parent/guardian, one or more members of the school staff, and any community based representative chosen by the parent/guardian
          • the team submits the plan for approval by the administrator  
           
         
      3. Subsection 3: The individualized plan:
        • must not conflict with:
          • any NIAA regulations or policies
          • with NRS 651.050; or
          • district public use policies 
           
        • must take into consideration the rights and needs of the individual pupil, the ability of the school to comply, and the rights and needs of the student body at large
          and
        • must include, without limitation:
          • methods to ensure the protection of privacy of each person governed by the plan
          • methods to support appropriate engagement of the parent/guardian
          • measures to ensure the use of the names and pronouns of the pupil in all verbal or written communication, as designated by the parent/guardian during registration or enrollment or in the student information system (Infinite Campus)
          • measure to ensure the pupil’s access to appropriate and supportive academic course and services, including
            • relevant and meaningful classroom activities that not discriminate or segregate according to gender identity or expression; and
            • appropriate PE, assemblies, dances, ceremonies, intramural activities and other school activities that do not discriminate or segregate according to gender identity or expression 
             
          • measures to ensure access to appropriate and supportive school clubs and support groups for the family of the pupil
          • necessary measures to ensure that the pupil is able to dress and act in accordance with their gender identity or expression, including
            • any accommodation necessary to ensure compliance with a dress code or uniform policy in a way that is physically and emotionally comfortable
            • policies for yearbook photos that allow the pupil to choose clothing that align with the gender identity or expression or, if applicable, are non-gender specific (i.e. senior photos)
            • authorization for the pupil to select the cap and gown combination which align with the gender identity or expression
              and
            • a requirement that the name designated by the parent/guardian be read during ceremonies and other events, including graduation ceremonies 
             
           
         
      4. Subsection 4: The plan required by paragraph (c) of subsection 2 is not required to include an item listed under paragraph (c) of subsection 3 if the parent/guardian elects to omit it.
      5. Subsection 5: To support compliance with the Model Policy for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment (NRS 388.133) and the plans required of districts/charters (NRS 388.134), the NDE will provide to districts/charters, at minimum on an annual basis, a list of resource for addressing the rights and needs of persons with diverse gender identities or expressions which reflect nationally accepted best practices.