Dec 13, 2021 - News

Philly School District puts nonbinary option on student forms

A general view of the School District of Philadelphia offices on December 31, 2015 in Philadelphia City. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
The School District of Philadelphia offices in 2015. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Philadelphia School District students are now able to select nonbinary as a gender identity option on official district documents.

Driving the news: Superintendent William Hite told district families last week that the nonbinary option will become available in student and family portals, as well as Google Classroom, starting Monday.

What they're saying: Hite called the move "an important step forward in our effort to become a more equitable and inclusive school district."

  • "Any time we can honor a person's autonomy and their identity, we're doing the right thing," said John Fisher-Klein, executive director of The Attic Youth Center, which serves LGBTQ+ youth in Philadelphia. "I'm so happy this is happening, and it's a move in the right direction."

How to do it: Students can fill out a Google form to inform the school about changing their names and genders.

  • Students can communicate this without providing legal documentation or parental/guardian approval.

Flashback: In 2016, the District passed Policy 252, which protects the right of transgender and gender nonconforming students to identify as their affirmed genders.

  • This cemented students' rights to use locker rooms and bathrooms, wear school uniforms and play sports based on their affirmed genders.

Of note: The updated gender identity information will not appear in state-run systems.

  • Hite said in his statement that the district is legally required to send information listed on birth certificates.
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