As part of a new policy for 2018-19, D.C. will soon have students registering as non-binary on enrolment forms as the city widens options of gender beyond just male and female.
The new policy comes after D.C. City Council passed
legislation in September this year which requires issuance of non-binary
licenses and IDs by the Department of Motor Vehicle.
Non-binary “X” sex markers have been added to ID
cards by several states and cities. But such markers are rare on school
From September this year, Oregon allowed students
and staff to identify as non-binary on official records, becoming the first
state to do so.
“For students, teachers, and staff to be successful, they must be safe in their school environment. This change in data collection practice is a step towards gender inclusivity and follows recent moves by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Legislature to recognise and allow for a non-binary option for drivers licenses, identification cards and birth certificates,” said Marc Siegal, Director Oregon Department of Education communications, pointing out a memo released earlier in June by the agency.
More school districts are expected to follow D.C.
and Oregon. Residents in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New York City
and Washington can opt out of gender using an ‘X’ marker on IDs or birth certificates.
“DCPS’ vision is that every student feels loved, challenged, and prepared to positively influence society and thrive in life. We value the whole child at DCPS and have worked diligently to ensure our schools are safe and inclusive for all students, staff, and families,” said Amanda Alexander, interim chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). “Whether through policies, programs, affinity groups, or our enrolment forms, DCPS is proud to be a leader in affirming, supporting, and welcoming LGBTQ students.”
DCPS spokesperson said that the agency and local
LGBTQ advocates are working together to improve the enrollment forms, adding
that the new policy has not received any backlash or opposition
“The change to the school enrollment process is part
of a broader effort to ensure government forms are accessible and improve how
we serve DC residents,” said the spokesperson.
Non-binary ID’s are recognized both at the federal
and local level.