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GenderPAC updates
report on gender identity in school

GenderPAC updates
report on gender identity in school

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) released its second annual report on gender identity in schools Monday.

The GENIUS Index (Gender Equality National Index for Universities and Schools) was created last year to track and evaluate "the efforts of colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts to prohibit discrimination and promote awareness of gender identity and expression in their policies," according to a press release.

The details of the report include analyses of nondiscrimination policies, gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral housing, and antiharassment policies. Some findingd of the study include:

-147 colleges and universities have added gender identity and expression to their nondiscrimination policies.

-Over 100 public K-12 school districts, encompassing thousands of individual schools, have extended similar gender identity protections to serve nearly 3.5 million children in 23 states.

-141 colleges and universities have established gender-neutral bathrooms, usually private bathrooms that students can use without fear of being judged based on their peers' view of gender identity.

-30 colleges and universities have created options for gender-neutral housing, in which the norm for roommates is not presumed to be someone of the same sex.

The 2007 index showed an increase in response rate, with 496 students, administrators, and alumni--representing 278 colleges and universities--responding to the survey, compared with the 2006 Index, which received 124 responses from 81 schools.

"We applaud the new schools in GENIUS 2007 that stepped up to ensure a new kind of student equality," GenderPAC executive director Riki Wilchins said in the press release. "We are proud that there are more gender-based protections for all students at schools across the country. At the same time, GenderPAC urges and expects that schools still without the protections will implement policies to ensure that their campuses are gender-safe--supportive, protective, and equitable for all students, whether or not they fit expectations for masculinity or femininity."

Although all eight Ivy League schools have inclusive nondiscrimination policies, the press release notes a few omissions from "Top 25" schools, including Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.; the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., which all lack protections for gender identity and expression.

The 2007 index can be accessed in its entirety at: (The Advocate)

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