On Tuesday, the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health put out a link to a resource aimed at helping school administrators “quickly gauge inclusivity” at their schools.
The resource, a self-assessment tool, covers things at schools from bathroom policies to sports teams and pronoun usage. The tool was developed using a host of materials from non-government organizations like the National LGBT Health Education Center and the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.
“Schools play a critical role in supporting the health and academic development of all youth, including the success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Creating and sustaining inclusive school environments, policies, programs, and practices that include LGBTQ youth is one strategy for improving the health and academic success of all youths,” the resource reads.
The resource was primarily developed by the CDC and the NORC research group at the University of Chicago. The resource is not “required” and is described as “a collection of curated resources and tools to help schools enhance LGBTQ inclusive policies, programs, and practices.”
The “inclusivity” assessments are broken down into sections for administrators, educators, all users, and school health staff. There are three levels of inclusivity ranging from “Commit to Change” to “Awesome Ally.”
One section of the tool asks whether users recognize that gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation can be “experienced on a continuum” while another asks whether the user “assumes” gender identity.
The resource also asks if school employees use gender-neutral language like “partner” instead of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend,” in addition to using students’ preferred pronouns.
Administrators receive a higher “inclusivity” grade if they have policies in place that allow students to use the bathroom/locker room of their chosen gender identity. Administrators are also asked if the technological policies “allow student access to age-appropriate LGBTQ content and information.”
Recommended resources for administrators include information from the Human Rights Watch and Gender Spectrum, a group that promotes resources for “gender diverse” youth.
In the educators’ section, the tool asks if there are “visual labels” like rainbow flags that demonstrate the classroom is “a safe space for LGBTQ students.” Educators are also asked if during sex ed they teach “information on all types of sex, not centering on penis/vagina penetrative sex.” The guide recommends the use of phrases like “a body with a penis” or “a body with a vagina.”
The resource comes after schools across the country have come under fire from parents and lawmakers for encouraging young students to embrace gender ideology.