Children at Shen are currently being taught gender identity concepts such as pansexual and gender fluid. Can you post all the gender identities children are being taught? Two days of HIV instruction used to be the only NY State mandated part of sex ed and parents could opt their children out no questions asked. When did gender identity become mandated?

Written by on November 3, 2017

Everyone has a gender identity, whether or not that gender identity is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.  

The terminology that the high school reviews is to assist the school district in fostering an educational environment for all students that is safe and free from discrimination (which includes gender identity) to facilitate compliance with local, state, and federal laws concerning bullying and harassment, such as:  

  1. NYS Educational Law 3201, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. 
  2. DASA, which specifically states that “no student shall be subjected to harassment or bullying by employees or students on school property based on 
  3. Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in regard to federally funded educational programs a personal actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and  gender.”  

In terms of HIV instruction, in NYS it is mandatory that students are taught about what HIV is, how you can get HIV, and what happens to a person when they have it.  The only portion that NYS allows exemption from is how to prevent oneself from getting it, which is a portion of one health class period.  Additional sexual health instruction is required. 

In response to DASA, the Board of Regents amended 8 NYCRR 100.2(c) to include classroom instruction for all public school students that supports the development of a school environment free of discrimination and harassment, including but not limited to, instruction that raises awareness and sensitivity to discrimination and harassment based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender (including gender identity or expression), as well as numerous other categories.  At the middle school level, students are taught the definitions of the terms gender identity, gender expression, assigned sex, and sexual orientation.  High school instruction is inclusive of additional terminology that is age appropriate. 

The sexual health education program at Shenendehowa is: in accordance, and compliance, with NYS curriculum guidelines and mandates; is science based; and, was developed in conjunction with community stakeholders on the Sexual Health Advisory Committee (populated by faculty, administration, parents, members of the Board of Education, community religious leaders, and medical professionals).  Education is a partnership – While we can teach science here at school, family values differ from home to home – as always, we encourage all families to have open conversations with their students regarding personal values.