St. Louis Park schools to consider gender inclusion policy


The St. Louis Park School District is considering a gender inclusive policy similar to ones used by other Minnesota school districts, the St. Louis Park Echo reports.

In an interview with The Echo, St. Louis Park High School’s student newspaper, Superintendent Rob Metz said he is pulling together a proposal for the school board.

“There are several school districts around us that are working on a gender identity policy,” Metz told the paper. “I would say that we’re at the exploration stage, but that I think it’s important, and I’m starting to put a written policy together.”

Metz outlined the shape the proposed policy could take:

“I think it’s really important to have a policy like this because our community is already played off as very accepting, and this would lead even more to a feeling of inclusion and community,” Henry said. Metz said before he creates a formal draft, he will get feedback from district principals, the School Board and students. “There’s a lot of details, like how we deal with bathrooms, how we deal with locker rooms, how we deal with overnight field trips, how we deal with names — both informally and on official school documents,” Metz said. “We’re not there yet, but I’m making a list of these things and I’m getting advice and suggestions from other school districts and other people.” Metz said he aims to focus on the students and not the adults and therefore he plans on finding a way to involve students in creating the policy. “One theme is ‘all genders welcome,’” Metz said. “No one’s going to be denied an opportunity to participate in anything and no one’s going to be discriminated against in any way — wherever they place themselves on the gender spectrum.”

The policy would be similar to ones adopted by Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, and the Blake School, a private K-12 school in Minneapolis, Hopkins, and Wayzata. A similar effort is underway at Nova Classical Academy, a public charter school in St. Paul. Schools around the region, particularly in Iowa and Wisconsin, have been making efforts at gender inclusion.

Metz says the St. Louis Park School Board could be presented with a proposed policy as early as the board’s February meeting.

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