Teachers' union proposes gender-neutral school uniforms, toilets and changing rooms

NZ Herald 29 May 2017
Schools are being urged to offer “gender-neutral” uniform, toilet and changing room options under new guidelines from the secondary teachers’ union.
The union, the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), says both boys and girls should be able to “choose from a range of shorts, trousers, skirts of different lengths and styles, with both tailored and non-tailored interchangeable shirts”.
“It is important that access to specific uniform items is not limited on the basis of biological sex or perceived gender identity,” the guidelines say.
They also urge schools to provide “individual toilet and shower units with lockable doors and floor-to-ceiling divisions” and “options for students to change and shower in privacy”.
Although the guidelines are purely advisory, Principals’ Federation president Whetu Cormick applauded the initiative.
In New Zealand, the Family First lobby group has issued its own guidelines saying: “No child should be forced into an intimate setting – like a toilet block or a changing room – with another child of the opposite sex.”
Its director Bob McCoskrie said the belief that gender identity could differ from biological sex, so that a person could be a “man trapped in a woman’s body” or vice versa, was not supported by scientific evidence.
“Separate facilities reflect the fact that boys and girls have bodily differences; they are designed to protect privacy related to our bodies. We can figure that out – why can’t the PPTA?” he said.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11865086
Schools urged to scrap male or female uniforms
NewsTalk ZB 29 May 2017
The gauntlet is being thrown down to high schools to end the era of ‘male’ or ‘female’ uniforms.
They are being urged to put measures in place to make all students feel welcome, no matter their gender identity or sexuality.
Secondary teachers’ union the PPTA has released an updated set of guidelines for schools to help them create a safe and welcoming environment.
The guidelines say gender identity and sexuality should never be barriers.
Rainbow taskforce convenor, Shawn Cooper said the guidelines look at things like toilet and changing room facilities and responses to bullying.
Cooper said they want to get people looking at school uniforms.
“Thinking about things like how we have students wear specific uniforms based on their biology,” he said.
READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/education/new-guidelines-urge-schools-to-scrap-male-or-female-uniforms/
PPTA calls for gender-neutral school uniforms, toilets in new guidelines
NewsHub 29 May 2017
Gender neutral bathrooms and uniforms are among new recommendations from teachers for making schools safer for students of diverse sexualities and genders.
The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) has released an updated set of voluntary guidelines, which it says will help create an environment where all students can feel comfortable.
It is urging schools to consider putting those guidelines in place.
“We need schools to be a safe place. More and more what we experience is that young people need an awareness of what their rights are, but also an opportunity to be safe than having to actively try and find a safe place in a school,” PPTA president Jack Boyle says.
But conservative lobby group Family First claims that rather than being inclusive, the new guidelines actually shut many students out.
The organisation believes most schools will “continue with business as usual focusing on bullying and mental health issues experienced by all school students”.
“Schools should be a ‘safe and affirming environment’ for all students and most schools are achieving this,” national director Bob McCoskrie says.
“The fact that the PPTA are pushing this ‘diverse sexualities and genders’ agenda should concern all parents.”
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/05/ppta-calls-for-gender-neutral-school-uniforms-toilets-in-new-guidelines.html
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