Transgender Students in schools - legal rights and responsibilities

GLBTI Newsletter - February 2015

Legal Issues Bulletin No. 55, issued in December 2014, states the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) is committed to providing safe and supportive learning environments that respect and value diversity and are free from violence, discrimination, harassment and vilification.

The document draws attention to resources available from the DEC which supports the rights of transgender identifying students to be treated equitably and with dignity. The available documents are the Student Welfare Policy and the Bullying: Preventing and Responding to Student Bullying in Schools Policy.

These resources promote a proactive approach to the development of positive school environments in which every student is respected and valued. Schools also have a legal duty to protect students from foreseeable risk of harm and to do what is reasonably practicable to ensure their safety.

Students who identify as transgender hold the same legal rights or protections under the duty of care, education and work health and safety laws. Additionally, protections apply to such students under discrimination law.

To view Legal Issues Bulletin No. 55, visit

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