School counselors and school counselor trainees face unique and complex sets of circumstances when supporting students identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming (TGNC). This session focuses on developing a working understanding of the challenges and complexities TGNC students face in K-12 settings. Attendees will gain proficiencies needed to effectively work with parents, students and K-12 educators/administrators to support the needs of TGNC students while navigating the ambiguous legal landscape.
This presentation will provide information about basic concepts of gender. It is critical that those supporting a transgender or gender nonconforming (TGNC) child understand the complexity of gender identities. The presenters will speak to the importance of this issue and the harm society suffers when students are marginalized within the K-12 setting. The conversation constructed will speak to the general guidelines for meeting the needs of transgender students, including intentionality and an awareness of the trade-offs inherent in any decisions about a student’s transition. The presenters will explore the specific issues affecting transgender youth within the K-12 setting. Furthermore, approaches for building an alliance with unsupportive parents or parents who disagree about the appropriate response to their child’s expressed gender identity will be addressed. Presenters will also explore how to navigate ambiguities within the legal landscape that administrators, educators, parents and students should be aware of as they work together to create a safe and supportive school environment for all students.
Attendees will acquire the tools needed to support students who are transitioning, including how to address issues specific to transgender youth: chosen names, pronouns, confidentiality, restroom and locker room access, sports, harassment or bullying, and creating gender support and gender transition plans within the K-12 setting.
Attendees will gain an understanding of mental health implications and best practices for working with parents who may be unsupportive, or who disagree about how to respond to their child's gender identity.
Attendees will gain an understanding on how to meet the needs of transgender students, while exploring the legal landscape that administrators, educators, parents, and students should be aware of as they work to create safe, supportive, and inclusive school environments.
Assistant Professor of Counseling and Development,
Long Island University Post