Policies On Transgender Students, Use Of Medical Marijuana Introduced By School Board

Franklin-school-board-officePolicies allowing the medical use of marijuana by students and prohibiting discrimination against transgender students were introduced at the June 30 Board of Education meeting.

A public hearing and final vote on the policies is scheduled for the board’s July 21 meeting.

Under the two policies – both of which are as a result of state laws – the school district will recognize a transgender student’s “assertion of their gender identity” and will allow a student to receive medical marijuana from a “primary caregiver” while on school grounds, on school buses or at school events.

The transgender policy comes about as a result of the state’s Law Against Discrimination, which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s gender identity in places of public accommodation, in which category schools are included.

The law also mandates that a person must be allowed to use certain facilities – such as bathrooms and locker rooms – that coincide with their gender identity.

Under the proposed policy, the school board “will accept a student’s assertion of their gender identity when there is consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity, or any other evidence that the gender-identity is sincerely held as a part of the student’s core identity. The Board of Education will not question or disregard the assertion of a student’s gender identity.”

The policy recognizes that each student’s case will be different, so it mandates that a student-specific support plan be enacted by the district, in consultation with the student and their parents.

The district will “honor the request of the student and parent(s) to have the student addressed by a name or pronoun consistent with the student’s gender identity,” but will maintain official records in the student’s birth name and gender.

All other student references – such as in yearbooks, student ID cards and library cards – will refer to the transgender student by their chosen name, according to the policy.

Transgender students will have access to bathrooms and locker rooms that comport to their gender identity, and special accommodations for students will be made when necessary, according to the policy. Transgender students will also be allowed to take the gym class that comports to their gender identity.

Participation in intramural and interscholastic sports will be determined by policies adopted by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, according to the policy.

The state has mandated that school districts allow students who need it the use of medical marijuana.

Under the board’s proposed policy, the student and their primary caregiver must obtain a registry identification card from the state Department of Health, and the parent must submit a written request to the school principal.

“The Principal, in consultation with the school nurse, the school physician, and the Superintendent of Schools, will review each request and upon approval will inform the parent in writing of the approval with details for the administration of medical marijuana to the qualifying student patient,” the policy states.

“Medical marijuana may only be administered to the qualifying student patient while the student is on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event by the primary caregiver,” according to the policy. “The prescribed medical marijuana must be in the possession of the primary caregiver at all times, except during the administration process.”

Board member Pat Stanley cast the lone “no” vote on both policy’s introductions.



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