[Bkn-school-of-education-csp-mhc] Protecting the rights of trans students in NYS

Shinelle Romeo-Walcott Shinelle.Romeo at liu.edu
Wed Mar 1 15:43:07 EST 2017


February 25, 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

On February 22, 2017, the President of the United States as well as the federal Departments of Education and Justice rescinded important guidance that clarified federal legal protections for transgender students in this country.

Immediately, Governor Cuomo issued a memo urging the NYS Education Department to issue a directive to all school districts making it clear that - regardless of Washington's action - the rights and protections that had been extended to all students in New York remain unchanged under state law.

Later that day (2/23/17), Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia released a joint memo in response to the Governor's request, re-affirming our state government's commitment to preserving the rights of transgendered (as well as all) children. In it, they write:

"The Attorney General and Commissioner reminded school districts across New York State that - irrespective of the federal government's decision - they have independent duties under state and local law to protect transgendered students (as well as all children) from discrimination and harassment in their schools and at all school functions."

NYASP is pleased that our state understands that the prerequisite to a successful education lays in making our children feel secure. To that end, school psychologists will continue to support the work of our state leadership by providing educationally-based behavioral health care to all children. The Attorney General and Commissioner's memo does not simply align with the mission of NYASP; it is the mission of NYASP:

"...to serve children, their families and the school community by promoting psychological well-being, excellence in education, and sensitivity to diversity through best practices in school psychology."

Attached to this email, you will find copies of the memos that I referenced above. In addition, I urge you to read the NYS Education Department's guidance document entitled: Guidance to School Districts for Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment For Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, which was released in 2015. It is this document that is referenced by the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Education. This document is also attached.

I would encourage you to share these documents with other professionals and administrators in your schools and in your district.

Moving forward, I would be very interested in hearing about your work with transgendered students. Our NYASP members do great work with our children in this state and it is important to share this. Please email me with your thoughts, impressions, and stories of the great work that we do for our children.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend.



Andrew Livanis, Ph.D., BCBA-D

President, New York Association of School Psychologists

Governor Press Release 2_23_17.pdf<http://nyasp.wildapricot.org/EmailTracker/LinkTracker.ashx?linkAndRecipientCode=unAurSp4WSjjm4EMhOMVf40bxKQlE8CLV4gRY420MTD4azH1Im8zWegCI7b0S2tcBufhpurj8qBOFpGMM5eaCDA4jC6N0P83j3B36Hx%2fGHg%3d>

Schneiderman and Elia Press Releases.pdf<http://nyasp.wildapricot.org/EmailTracker/LinkTracker.ashx?linkAndRecipientCode=FYHHEylqAQE%2bV%2bCicmfXN8gKsqiMUzIoD0VVGfyFy8z7rvAsaILPNXWv5Ab7ZOKN8%2fExpOy7d%2fbJOYAtzBoMP6ESHQFoKSLjtKlpA4VMnAk%3d>


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