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Education is for EVERYONE

SCHOOL SAFETY

Happy Back-To-School, Minnesota! As you sharpen your pencils, read over those syllabi, and start your first pieces of homework, we wanted to remind you of your rights within the public AND private school system.


Two years ago, after the COVID shutdown, many students came back to school with entirely new identities - some with different names, pronouns, styles, and abilities. Schools weren’t prepared to support the new gender diversity entering their systems. So they did the right thing, and sat down to outline the rules and regulations to keep - specifically trans youth - safe.


So what do you need to know? We’ll break it down.


THE BASICS

School is a public space that is protected by anti-discrimination laws. This means if anyone treats you differently for being anything other than cisgender and heterosexual, that is illegal.


Discrimination Prohibited under MN Law

  • Employment, including labor union membership

  • Real property (housing)

  • Public accommodations (such as theaters or restaurants)

  • Public services (those provided by government)

  • Education, including private, secular schools (This is what we’ll be talking about MOST today!)

  • Credit

  • Business contracting


FOR TRANS STUDENTS

Thankfully, this information hasn’t changed over the past two years. If anything, you’re MORE protected due to the Trans Refuge Bill that solidifies your protections for Gender-Affirming Care (yay!).


Specifically at school, private or public, you have the LEGAL RIGHT to:

  • Use the same restrooms and locker rooms as other students - NOT alone, or segregated into a separate “trans” bathroom and/or locker room facilities.

  • Use the restrooms, locker rooms, and bathroom facilities that align with your gender.

  • Participate in all school-related activities.

  • Participate in gendered teams that align with your gender - NOT the one assigned at birth.

  • Be protected from bullying and harassment from staff and peers.


SO SOMEONE BROKE THE LAW

Have you experienced discrimination? Did something happen? Check out these resources.


FILE A CLAIM WITH THE DEPT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

It’s EASY and PAINLESS to file a claim with the state-wide department of Human Rights. Simply fill out their online form, and follow the instructions.


If you need more help, we encourage you to call. Certain cities in Minnesota have their own human rights ordinance, with separate enforcement offices.

  • Saint Paul: Department of Human Rights, 651.266.8966

  • Minneapolis: Department of Civil Rights, 612.673.3012


FIND LEGAL SERVICES

These organizations can provide more information and support:



EDUCATION IS FOR EVERYONE

School is a place for bright ideas, new concepts, and occasionally, fun :)


We wish you all the best on the 2023-2024 school year and look forward to supporting students, teachers, and caregivers alike through our programming.


Happy Back To School!



Legal References

  1. N.H. v. Anoka-Hennepin Sch. Dist. No. 11, 950 N.W.2d 553 (Minn. Ct. App. 2020)

  2. Minn. Stat. § 363A.13, subd. 1

  3. Minn. Const. Art. I § 2

  4. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)

  5. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, 972 F.3d 586 (4th Cir. 2020)

  6. Whitaker v. Kenosha, 858 F.3d 1034 (7th Cir. 2017)

  7. MSHSL Official Handbook, 300.00 Bylaws: Administration of Student Eligibility, 2020-20201, 300.03

  8. Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 subd. 2




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