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Protections by state
State Schools Nondiscrimination Laws [Map]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.transequality.org/issues/resources/map-state-schools-nondiscrimination-laws
This map created by the National Center for Transgender Equality shows which states offer gender identity and sexual orientation protections, which offer only sex and sexual orientation protections, and which states offer only sex discrimination protections. In the gray states LGBTQ+ people have no legal protections. The light blue states offer protections for sexual orientation but trans and gender non-conforming individuals are not protected. Massachusetts offers both gender identity and sexual orientation protections.
Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment
Massachusetts has legal protections for trans students, which became effective in 2012. This section of the Massachusetts Department of Primary and Secondary Education website interprets that law and explains how it impacts students and educators. The text includes a glossary of terms, the language from An Act Relative to Gender Identity, and provides guidance on how to support trans students, including maintaining privacy of their records. This website is particularly helpful as it instructs Massachusetts educators on their legal responsibilities.
State law relative to gender identity
This is an online version of AN ACT RELATIVE TO GENDER IDENTITY, an act passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate in 2011. This act adds a clause to previous protections based on sex and sexuality. Without protections for gender identity, a person can legally be discriminated against based on their gender expression, regardless of their sex or sexual orientation. This allowed discrimination of trans people and some gay and bisexual people without legal recourse. For an official interpretation of this act, please see the “Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment” posted above.
State act on transgender anti-discrimination
This bill that offers protections to trans residents was signed by the Governor as an emergency law in 2016. For an official interpretation of this act, please see the “Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment” posted above.
FAQ on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students
This document tries to answer commonly asked questions related the Trump administration’s rollback of federal guidance for protecting trans students in schools. The text gives a background to the statement the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released in 2016 related to trans students, as well as analysis of what might happen now that this guidance has been rolled back. The text includes the perspectives of health and education experts and suggests alternative avenues for seeking protection for trans students.
Legal guidance on Transgender students' rights
This 32 page guide published by the National Education Association is available full-text online. The guide gives an overview of the different legal protections for trans students, best practices for schools in respecting these rights, and a breakdown of particular situations and how trans students' rights may play out. Massachusetts has additional protections at the state level. Please see the section on State Law for an explination of local laws. The guide also includes a list of states where trans rights are limited. Since the time of publication in 2016, additional states have attempted to pass legislation limiting trans rights. The guide has an index to make it easier to browse as well as a list of works cited.
Moore, A., Pan, L., & Erlick, E. (2017). Did you know? [Infographic]. Retrieved from http://www.transstudent.org/transstudentlaws
This graphic from Trans Student Education Resources illustrates three scenarios that might occur at a high school. They are all illegal under Massachusetts state law.