Controversial transgender student rights regulation focus of Jan. 31 public meeting in Dover

DOVER — A controversial proposed regulation dealing with the rights of transgender students in Delaware’s public schools that drew thousands of comments from concerned citizens will be re-examined at a meeting public meeting next week.

The 18-member development team that initially drafted the prospective regulation — Regulation 225 Prohibition of Discrimination — will reconvene Wednesday, Jan. 31 at the Del-One Conference Center on Delaware Technical Community College’s Terry Campus, located at 100 Campus Drive in Dover.

The meeting, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., is open to the public.

After the Delaware Department of Education received more than 11,000 comments during a commentary period that closed Dec. 4, Delaware Education Secretary Dr. Susan Bunting called for “careful review” of the comments. Sec. Bunting announced in December that the DOE’s Development Team would reconvene in January to carefully review the comments and make recommendations for possible changes to the regulation.

Regulation 225, initiated by Gov. John Carney last summer through the Delaware Department of Education, would allow all Delaware public school students to self-identify their gender or race. Students would have the opportunity to participate on the sports team consistent with their gender identity and select a “preferred name” that school officials would be obligated to use in their daily interactions.

The rule would also allow children of any age to make these decisions without parental input, notification, or consent.

Indian River School District’s board of education at its Nov. 27 meeting joined the opposing movement that includes more than a dozen state legislators – including House of Representatives members from Sussex County – the Delaware Family Policy Council and many parents whose primary fear is that the regulations will strip away parental rights.

While the Delaware State Education Association’s executive board voted in late November to support Regulation 225, the Indian River Education Association did not support the state-level executive decision.

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