Gender identity guidance for Utah schools

Nov 16, 2021, 4:47 PM


SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education’s (USBE) Standards and Assessment committee met Monday evening to discuss an in-the-works gender identity “guidance document.”

The guidance document is meant to help schools, parents, and educators with topics around transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students. 

KSL NewsRadio’s Jason Tulin reported on the meeting that went well into the night of Nov. 15.

What is gender identity?

Tulin referred to the Washington State University Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center. The Resource Center defined gender identity:

One’s internal sense of being a man, woman, neither of these, both, or other gender(s).

The center also defined gender expression:

External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through clothing, haircut, voice, or body characteristics.

The committee is working on a guide for schools on topics relating to gender identity and gender expression. 

The purpose of the guidance document

The committee meeting and guidance document creation are a response to growing questions about common issues relating to gender and gender identity in Utah schools. 

Tulin explained the guidance is not intended to lay out a strict set of rules. But instead offer a standard set of guidelines to support gender-diverse students and the school community. 

The Board of Education committee is especially focused on providing guidance for topics of privacy, records and confidentiality, overnight school trips, bathrooms, dress codes, and pronouns. 

With all of the topics to cover, KSL TV’s Debbie Worthen reported by 9:15 the committee had only moved through half of the proposed subjects, and list continued to grow. 

The guidance follows other conversations led by the USBE. In early September, USBE held a virtual meeting open to public comment about gender identity. The meeting’s participants discussed students’ chosen pronouns, bullying by peers for gender identity and expression, and the relationship between transgendernon-binary, and gender-diverse students and their parents. 

A draft document was published called “Understanding Gender Identity to Better Support Students.”

What next?

Once the guidance document is finished, the State Board of Education will vote to either veto or adopt the guidance, said Tulin. The guidance will serve as a resource provided by the USBE to schools and school communities. 

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

The first victim identified in 1921 Tulsa race massacre was an Ogden man...

Britt Johnson

First victim of 1921 Tulsa race massacre identified as Ogden man

With genetic testing, a Utah non-profit was able to identify the first victim of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre as a man from Utah.

10 hours ago

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to utah...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

‘Evil must always, always lose,’ Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says during Utah visit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for continued support for Ukraine during a visit to Utah on Friday.

11 hours ago

Two stores in Washington County would go up for sale if the new proposed merger between Kroger and ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Merger might lead to Albertsons stores in Washington County going up for sale

Two Albertsons stores in Washington County might go up for sale if a merger between Kroger and Albertsons is approved.

13 hours ago

Saint Mary Magdalene relic pictured...

Sam Herrera

Saint Mary Magdalene relic stolen from Cathedral of the Madeleine

A spokesperson with the church said the theft was discovered when staff found the shrine that held the Saint Mary Magdalene relic was broken.

14 hours ago

A Unified Fire Authority firetruck Friday, July 2, 2021, after a forklift hit a section of the inte...

KSL NewsRadio

Fire in Layton causes FrontRunner delays as area deals with power outage

A brush fire has broken out in Layton causing delays. UTA FrontRunner is seeing delays around the Layton station.

14 hours ago

alec baldwin trial...

Sam Herrera

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ case dismissed in New Mexico

A judge in New Mexico dismissed the involuntary manslaughter case against actor Alec Baldwin on Friday

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Gender identity guidance for Utah schools