Northampton Public School system updates gender protection policy

The policy will protect students' privacy when related to their gender status

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a practice the school district has had in place for the last three years. Except now, it’s mandatory.

On Thursday night, the Northampton School Committee voted to extend its gender protection policy. The policy is committed to maintaining student privacy and confidentiality, about any student who may be transitioning into another gender.

It also includes recognizing students by the gender they identify with and using pronouns they feel most comfortable with.

“[It ]makes me feel good to be apart of community that wants to protect everybody, not just certain people versus others,” Northampton resident Yvette Vernecker told 22News. “I’m happy. I’m happy for my kids to be in that kind of environment also.”

The policy allows transgender students access to sports and locker rooms, which is already mandated under state law.

Superintendent John Provost told 22News that Northampton Public Schools will protect students’ privacy when related to their gender, transgender or gender nonconforming status, including assigned sex at birth, to the extent permissible by law.

You can read their full nondiscrimination policy on the Northampton Public Schools website.