Name and Gender Documentation in Schools: Update

Since school has started, and since my blog post on this topic, I’ve been working with a lot of schools and parents to hammer out this issue.

It seems that Power School (the computer system used by most schools in SD) will allow for a “preferred name” field, but it still prints the birth name next to the preferred name on all the rosters, etc. So not helpful! Also, there is no updated or preferred gender marker box. Guess what? Anyone in administration at the school can manually go into Power School and change the birth name and gender to the preferred name and gender. Simple as that. I’ve had three schools in San Diego do this now. Assertively ask your school administrators to do this for your child.

If your school still will not do this, ask how they will handle attendance sheets when there is a substitute.

Additionally, send emails to each of your child’s teachers. (This is for children who are about to transition or are currently transitioning, not those who have already transitioned.) One of my client’s mothers wrote this email to each of her child’s teachers, and I absolutely love it.

“Dear [Teacher],

My child [name] is in your first period [subject] class.

[Preferred name] ‘gender-identifies’ as a male, and I would like to ask you to make very certain that you reference him (purposely, but not obviously) with his preferred name of [preferred name] rather than his legal name and that you use he/him/his pronouns at all times, modeling that for the other students in the class.  One of [preferred name]’s biggest concerns in life is “passing,” being regarded and thought of on first glance as male. The kids look to their teachers for cues when they’re unsure, and with your leadership in setting a firm precedent from the beginning as to [preferred name]’s gender, there should be no confusion about it in your class.

Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,

[Parent]”

Email me with success stories, questions, or concerns about this issue to tandotherapy@me.com. Thank you!

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Published in: on September 4, 2014 at 10:59 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How wonderful that there is this help for children who are transgendered. For too many years people who are transgendered/transsexual faced things alone, even their families in many cases were against them.

  2. I still have the voice mail from my son’s HS principal who left message stating they could not call him his preferred name of Bryson as he walked in stage to be handed his diploma. Makes me sick to this day. He had to walk up there in front of hundreds of people and be called his name which he says, he hates with a passion. But he walked, for us, even though he despised every minute of it. The thing that made us angry was that they called other students by their preferred nicknames (ie.Nick for Nicholas, etc.) but told our son they had to call him by the name written on his diploma because it was a county regulation. Just felt like sharing that. Thanks for all you do!

    • Oh, this breaks my heart. I wish I was involved, I would have fought for your son to have his appropriate name used!!


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