NCSD Guidelines for Supporting Staff of Diverse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The North Clackamas School District is an equal opportunity employer. We respect the diversity of identities in our community, including but not limited to age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, veteran status, service in uniformed service, familial status, genetic information, an individual’s juvenile record that has been expunged, and/or disability of an employee who is able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. We believe that a diverse workplace reflects our community, and cultivates a sense of belonging and inclusion, with the expectation of success for every student.
(Sources: GBA- Equal Employment Opportunity • North Clackamas School District Strategic Plan)
Purposes and Application of these Guidelines
These guidelines set out the North Clackamas School District’s best practices related to supporting our gender-diverse staff members. They have been designed to raise awareness and help protect against discrimination and harassment. This document is intended to affirm the dignity of and promote equity for employees in the NCSD community who identify as nonbinary, transgender, gender diverse, or of diverse sexuality. NCSD recognizes that every individual who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ2SIA+ community has a unique lived experience, and the LGBTQ2SIA+ community is not a homogeneous group with a single identity. Therefore, while guidelines should be adhered to by all staff, it is also recognized that specific supports sought are to be fulfilled on a case‐by‐case basis and individualized to best meet the needs of an employee who is making the request for support.
NCSD commits to seek out and listen to feedback from staff who identify as, and those who support staff who identify as transgender, gender non‐conforming, questioning, or of diverse sexuality. Such feedback is an important opportunity to learn and grow. If you have comments or questions about this policy, please contact Mark Moser (x3600) in the Human Resources Department.
Assigned sex: Sex recorded at birth, usually on the basis of external genitalia
Bisexual: Having emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction for people of more than one gender
Cisgender: A term used to describe people who, for the most part, identify with the sex they were assigned at birth
Gay: Having emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction for people of the same sex
Gender Binary: The assumption that there are only two genders (male and female), rather than more than two genders or gender fluidity
Gender Nonconforming: A person who does not identify with a specific set of traits (behavioral, cultural, community roles) on the male to female spectrum
Gender Expression: How people express their gender externally based on mannerisms, dress, etc. A person's gender expression/presentation may not always match their gender identity.
Gender Identity: A person's internal sense of being male, female or some other gender, regardless of whether the individual's appearance, expression or behavior differs from that traditionally associated with the individual's sex assigned at birth. Gender identity is distinct from and often unrelated to an individual’s sexual orientation.
Gender Role: The socially determined sets of behaviors assigned to people based on their biological sex
Gender Sensitive: Materials and instructional strategies that are sensitive to an individual’s similarities and differences regarding gender role, gender identity and/or sexual orientation
Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female. The term is not a synonym for transgender and should only be used if someone self-identifies as genderqueer.
Intersex: Intersex is an umbrella term for unique variations in reproductive or sex anatomy. Variations may appear in a person’s chromosomes, genitals, or internal organs like testes or ovaries. Some intersex traits are identified at birth, while others may not be discovered until puberty or later in life.
Lesbian: A female-identified person who is attracted to women
LGBTQ2IA+: An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual, plus all the ways gender non-conforming indivduals choose to express identity
Misgendering: Attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect/does not align with their gender identity. Can occur when using pronouns, gendered language (i.e. “Hello ladies!” “Hey guys”), or assigning genders to people without knowing how they identify (i.e. “Well, since we’re all women in this room, we understand…”).
Non-binary: Often used to describe people whose gender is not exclusively male or female, including those who identify with a gender other than male or female, as more than one gender, or as no gender.
Pronouns: The pronoun or set of pronouns that a person identifies with and would like to be called when their proper name is not being used. Examples include “she/her/hers,” “he/him/his,” ze/hir/hirs,” and “they/them/theirs.” Some people prefer no pronouns at all, or some combination such as “she/they.”
Queer: An umbrella term used proudly by some people to defy gender or sexual restrictions. Has been considered offensive in the past, and should only be used if someone self-identifies as queer.
Questioning: The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations.
Sexual Orientation: A person’s romantic and/or physical attraction to people of the same and/or another gender, such as being straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people may have any sexual orientation.
Transgender: An umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Persons who identify as transgender may or may not pursue medical Transition.
Transition: The time when a person begins living as the gender with which they identify rather than the gender they were assigned at birth, which often includes changing one’s first name and dressing and grooming differently. Transition may or may not also include medical and legal aspects, including taking hormones, having surgery, or changing identity documents (e.g. driver’s license, Social Security record) to reflect one’s gender identity.
Two-Spirit: A term used within some Indigenous communities, encompassing cultural, spiritual, sexual and gender identity. The term reflects complex Indigenous understandings of gender roles, spirituality, and the long history of sexual and gender diversity in Indigenous cultures. Individual terms and roles for Two-Spirit people are specific to each nation.
(Sources: Definitions for Gay, Bisexual, Queer and Questioning retrieved 8/23/21 from National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness • Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from the Oregon Department of Education’s Guidance on Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment for Transgender Students)
2. Anti-Discrimination and the North Clackamas School District’s Gender Diversity Affirming Stance
The North Clackamas School District’s commitment to supporting gender and sexual diversity is upheld by Oregon State Law, Oregon Department of Education Guidance, and NCSD School Board-approved policies, including but not limited to:
- ODE office for Civil Rights the Oregon Equality Act (HB 3041)
- NCSD's Equity, workplace harassment, sexual harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Nondiscrimination policies.
- Oregon DHS Guidelines for working with Transgender Individuals
Compliance and Support Under Title IX
The North Clackamas School District will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities unless expressly authorized to do so under Title IX or its implementing regulations. The North Clackamas School District will treat a staff member’s gender identity as their sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations. The North Clackamas School District’s interpretation is consistent with courts’ and other agencies’ interpretations of Federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination.
When a staff member notifies their supervisor they will assume a gender identity different from how they have previously identified socially and/or on school district documents, the district will begin treating the staff member consistently with their gender identity. NCSD does not require medical documentation or other proof of gender or gender identity from staff.
Safe and Nondiscriminatory Environment
All NCSD staff, inclusive of those who identify as transgender, gender non‐conforming, questioning, and/ or of diverse sexuality, have the right to work in a safe, welcoming environment in which they can thrive personally and professionally. If other staff, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns regarding how that staff member identifies, it is incumbent upon the staff member’s supervisor to intervene and re-establish positive, productive relationships. Students will not be transferred out of a teacher’s class or program based on the teacher’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or another component of their identity. Likewise, students will not be exempted from interacting with any staff member based on that staff member’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other component of their identity.
Safe From Sexual Harassment
The School Board is committed to ensuring that North Clackamas Schools are free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and shall not be tolerated. This policy applies to all students, staff members, and third parties who are on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any district-sponsored activity, on any district-provided transportation, or at any official district bus stop.
The district processes reports or complaints of sexual harassment under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 342.700 et. al. and federal Title IX laws found in Title 34 C.F.R. Part 106 in policy GBNAB. Individual complaints may require both of these procedures and may involve additional complaint procedures.
When information, a report, or complaint regarding sexual harassment is received by the district, the district will review such information, report, or complaint to determine which law applies and will follow the appropriate procedures. When the alleged conduct could meet both of the definitions in ORS Chapter 342 and Title IX, both complaint procedures should be processed simultaneously (see GBN/JBA-AR(1) - Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure and GBNAB and GBNAB-AR Federal Law/Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure). Complaints are initially reported to the director of Human Resources (x3600), who determines which administrator will handle the complaint procedure. If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, they may appeal using the pathway established within the policy. The district may also need to use other complaint procedures when the alleged conduct could meet the definitions for other complaint procedures.
Training and Professional Development
NCSD works to ensure staff who identify as transgender, gender non‐conforming, questioning, or of diverse sexuality are included in all district activities and allowed to participate in the full school community. All school and district staff members will participate in annual professional development that addresses the specific rights of staff who identify as diverse gender identity or sexuality. NCSD staff are not segregated by a component of their identity for training.
Additionally, the North Clackamas School District will ensure resources are available on the staff portal, including but not limited to:
- Terms, concepts, and current understandings of gender identity, gender expression, and gender diversity in humans
- Strategies for communication with employees, administrators, and Human Resources about issues related to gender identity and gender expression
- Strategies for preventing and intervening in gender identity based bullying incidents, including cyberbullying, harassment, and discrimination
- Resources to help foster a more gender-inclusive environment for all staff
3. Name and Pronoun Change
The North Clackamas School District will work with an employee to discuss their plan to transition and their intention to begin presenting as their new identity. The district respects the privacy of employees and safeguards personnel records under policy GBL. The employee wishing to socially or medically transition is not required to consult with the district on their process. However, the district can be a resource and help with paperwork and processes to assist in making the social transition more smooth.
This is the name most commonly presented to the NCSD community. Newly hired and current staff members may seek support in the following ways regarding their preferred name.
Contact Human Resources for:
- NClack email address
- “Preferred Name” section of the iVisions employee system
- ID Badge
- Aesop Absence Management system
- Public School Works employee training system
Current employees who change their preferred name may also need to contact their School or Department website manager for:
- School/Department website
- Staff web pages
- Parent Notification and Communication system
- Staff directory
Legal Name Change:
Making legal changes to an employee’s full name requires legal documentation (Driver’s License, I-9, Social Security, etc.) because it affects state and federal payroll laws, the Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (which is governed by Oregon State laws and policies), and NCSD Internal systems other than those mentioned above. For example, because iVisions is the portal for long term benefits such as retirement, it will retain both a legal name and a preferred name for each district employee.
- All staff members have the right to be addressed by a name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity. Regardless of whether a transgender or nonbinary staff has legally changed their name or gender, students and staff should always use the pronoun and name with which the staff identifies or requests. Misgendering can cause severe psychological harm and jeopardize staff safety at school.
- Administrators, all employees, outside contractors, and Human Resources must use the employee’s desired pronouns. It is not permissible to continue to use the wrong pronoun once someone has been made aware of the staff member’s pronouns. For example, if an employee has asked to be referenced by the pronouns “They/Them/Theirs,” it is incumbent upon all employees to honor that request.
- Do not assume any employee’s pronouns; instead, invite all staff members to share which pronouns they use. Examining one’s own gendered language is essential to avoid misgendering staff.
- If requested by the employee, the district must change the employee's gender in district human resource information systems. Current options include F, M, or X. A written and/or emailed request to the staff member’s HR Specialist is considered documentation for this change.
Communication Regarding Name and/or Pronoun Change
The North Clackamas School District will support a transition plan led by the needs of the employee to assist in the respectful and inclusive treatment and a smooth transition process. If the employee’s supervisor needs additional support or guidance they may contact Human Resources.
The North Clackamas School District assists the employee in their transition by supporting:
- A timeline for transition and communication, allowing for the fact that the transition may be an ongoing process.
- A plan for communicating to coworkers, including when and how the transition will be communicated to building staff. Human Resources may assist the employee’s supervisor if they want additional information and strategies to share with their staff related to working with a transgender employee.
- A plan for communicating to students and families, including when and how a transition will be communicated to the school community.
4. Medical Leave
The North Clackamas School District recognizes that an employee may have the need to take medical leave for any number of personal reasons including gender and gender identity. The North Clackamas School District will treat a person’s gender identity as a valid reason for medical leave.
Time off for medical appointments and procedures must be granted on the same basis as for any other scheduled medical appointments and procedures as defined in their collective bargaining agreement.
Employees (and covered dependents) in the process of transitioning may wish to have appropriate medical care to support their transition. The State of Oregon prohibits health insurance providers from discriminating based only on gender identity. Employees should refer to their employee medical plan for detailed coverage information. For assistance, they may wish to contact their Benefits Specialist.
5. Other Considerations
Restroom and Locker Room Usage
North Clackamas employees have the right to use restrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity. Gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms may meet the needs of many staff members, however, not all feel safe in gender-specific, multi-user facilities. To that end, staff are welcome to use single-user restrooms available in North Clackamas schools.
In no case shall a transgender individual and/or employee be denied the opportunity to participate in an overnight school trip related to their employment due to gender or sexual diversity. All requests to participate in overnight school trips must be handled in accordance with the Student Travel Policy.
Employees have the right to dress in accordance with their gender identity. Staff dress and grooming standards can be found under policy GBCA.
Request for Transfer
An employee may feel more comfortable working in a different position during and/or after their transition. If an employee wishes to be reassigned to another position they should contact Human Resources. If they are a member of a bargaining unit, they should also follow the process outlined in their Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Ongoing Advocacy for Gender Diverse Staff
NCSD Human Resource Administrators, District Equity Administrators, and District Title IX Administrator can act as resources for staff with diverse gender identity or sexuality. Additionally, NCSD has a district-wide Affinity Group for staff members who identify with the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. The facilitator for that group can help advocate for individual staff members to the extent that each staff member feels comfortable communicating with the facilitator, by accompanying them in communication with the Title IX Coordinator or HR Administrator. The Collective Bargaining Agreements for both certified and classified employees also state that a representative of the employee’s choosing may accompany the employee during a complaint procedure, and so members who identify with the LGBTQ2SIA+ community may choose to include a trusted individual in their communication with the Title IX Coordinator or Human Resources Administrator.
Additional Advocacy Groups Outside of NCSD
GLSEN - GLSEN believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusive K-12 education. They are a national network of educators, students, and local GLSEN Chapters working to make this right a reality. www.glsen.org
HRC - Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) lobbying group and political action committee in the United States. The HRC mission statement is "HRC envisions an America where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of the American family at home, at work, and in every community." www.HRC.org/workplace/transgender
PFLAG - Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
(PFLAG) is a group of family members and friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people. PFLAG's mission is "to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ+ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ+ people.” www.PFLAG.org
Pride at Work
Pride at Work seeks full equality without restrictions or barriers for LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals in our workplaces, unions, and communities, cherishing diversity, safety & dignity. We do this through education, alliances, and building solidarity across our large and diverse communities. www.prideatwork.org
Q Center is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and vibrant environment for the community members who identify as gender diverse and their allies. They seek to examine and dismantle systems of oppression while empowering community members to lead self-determined lives. Their support and activity groups are community-based and peer-led. www.pdxqcenter.org
TransActive Gender Project
This organization “provides a holistic range of services and expertise to empower transgender and gender-expansive children, youth, and their families in living healthy lives that are free of discrimination.” Members within the organization specialize in supporting transgender staff in the workplace. graduate.lclark.edu/programs
Trans Educators Network
Trans Educators Network operates a listserv for forums and meet-ups for educators in each region that identify as gender diverse. www.transeducators.com/about/
Strategies for communication with employees, administrators, and Human Resources about issues related to gender identity and gender expression
Strategies for preventing and intervening in gender identity based bullying incidents, including cyberbullying, harassment, and discrimination
Resources to help foster a more gender-inclusive environment for all staff
Replacing Gendered Language with Gender-Inclusive Language, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Training on Gender Equity, originally for front desk professionals, 2017
Schools in Transition: A Guide for SupportingTransgender Students in K-12 Schools, by NEA, ACLU and Human Rights Campaign
TransActive- Report on Harsh Realities of School Experience for Transgender Youth
Dear Colleague letter- White House Guidance on supporting Transgender Youth, 2016