Return to Headlines

Clarification on the Transgender Guidance Rescission and Recent Immigration-Related Actions



The decision from the White House and the Federal Departments of Education and Justice to rescind guidance that clarified federal legal protections for transgender students does not change the independent duties under state law and District Policy to protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment in the schools.


New York State’s Dignity for all Students Act expressly requires all school districts in New York State to prohibit discrimination and harassment on school property or at a school function, on the basis of a student’s gender identity or expression.


At the Onteora Central School District, we will continue to take necessary steps to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming students experience a safe and welcoming learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.


Recent immigration-related actions by federal officials have created fear and confusion across the country.


Pursuant to the New York State Education Law, children over five and under twenty-one years of age who have not received a high school diploma are entitled to attend the public schools in the school district in which they reside without paying tuition. Moreover, school districts must ensure that all students within the compulsory age attend full-time instruction. Undocumented children, like U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend school full time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law.


It has long been State Education Department’s position that law enforcement officers may not remove a student from school property or interrogate a student without the consent of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, except very limited situations (e.g., when law enforcement officials have a valid warrant or when a crime has been committed on school property.)


Bruce Watson