May 16, 2018

GH Teachers & Staff – July Training – We Want Your Feedback!

Dear Great Hearts Teachers and Staff,

First, thanks to you all for another school year (almost) completed. Your dedication to our kids and to your classrooms is second to none. Great Hearts teachers and support staff continue to build and support a community focused on educational excellence. Thank you all so much.

Secondly, as many of you know, we have been raising awareness of the Great Hearts “Biological Sex and Gender Policy,” a policy that targets and discriminates against the transgender and gender non-conforming students that attend your school. It has been a long road of advocacy, but it appears that the bio sex policy will be removed in time for next year. While Great Hearts still has commitments it needs to fulfill, we are optimistic that change is on the horizon.

As part of this change, it is our understanding that Great Hearts is planning a training session in July for each one of you to announce the repeal of the Biological Sex and Gender Policy and to deliver their new policy focused on emphasizing the importance of honoring each and every student with the dignity and respect they deserve. So, great news there!

Unfortunately, we understand that the training has not yet been developed. Despite months and months (and months and months) of campaigning to raise awareness of how best to support your transgender and gender expansive students, Great Hearts leadership continues to balk at presenting you with the best information possible.

As such, we would like to present you a few links that provide well estabilshed, mainstream, and appropriate guidance in advance of July’s planned Great Hearts training event.

Welcoming Schools – A free program with tools, resources and talking points to help schools support their trans students

Gender Spectrum
Transgender Students and School Bathrooms:
Frequently Asked Questions

American Psychological Association
What Does Transgender Mean?

American Academy of Pediatrics
Study: Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities

Joint publication by Human Rights Campaign, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, and American Academy of Pediatrics
Supporting & Caring for Transgender Children

United States Department of Education
Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students

More links available upon request!

Third, there is some concern from our community that Great Hearts may bring in “experts” to provide “perspective” on how best to support trans students. In the past, Great Hearts has relied on expertise from groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the American College of Pediatrics (ACPeds), both identified as hate groups by Southern Poverty Law Center.

We view such experts as being on the extreme fringe of medicine. They are in no way supported by any LGBTQ advocacy organization, including ours.

We want to be clear:
1) “Reparative” or conversion therapy is abuse.

2) Policies supported by the likes of the ADFACPeds, or Dr Paul McHugh have no place in public education whatsoever.

3) The best way to support a transgender student is to respect and support their gender identity. Period.

Finally, we’d love to hear your feedback about your July training!

But many of you with whom we’ve spoken have expressed concern of retaliation from Great Hearts should you show your support publicly.

No problem!

We now have a free and anonymous way for you to communicate with us.

We’ve created an online survey that will allow you to report back to us and let us know all about the training event.

Did Great Hearts provide the most current information? Who came in to speak? Did they mention anything about trans students at all? Or was it just a 5 minute policy review? Did they provide any training in accordance with current best practices? Or did they skip it and just shove the new policy in the Family Handbook without mention? Was the old policy even removed? (For goodness’ sakes, we hope so!)

Once the training is delivered, we’d love your feedback. Log off the Great Hearts network, head over to your personal computer or personal phone, and click the link below.

Can’t remember the link? No problem! Just go to our website and find the link on the menu at the top of our homepage.

That’s all for now! We’re off to have a summer.

Enjoy some time to relax and refresh and we’ll see you all back for the next school year.

Concerned Great Hearts Parents, Students, Alums, Teachers and Staff