South Brunswick Schools Will Comply With Federal Transgender Guidance


SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – The school district will comply with a federal “guidance” regarding transgender polices released by the Obama administration last week, officials said.

Acting Superintendent Richard Chromey said the district will follow the guidelines set out by the U.S. departments of Education and Justice last Friday, that aim to make transgender students more comfortable in the nation’s elementary, secondary public schools and colleges.

“Our district has had longstanding success in accommodating our transgender students,” Chromey said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “Over the last couple of years we have worked successfully with our transgender students and their families to address any bathroom issues.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to the document, sent last Friday to all schools in the nation receiving federal aid, civil rights protections are given to transgender and students identifying outside of their birth genders as part of 1972’s Title IX legislation.

That law sought to prohibit discrimination based on race, sexual preference or gender by making sure students had access to equal programs and facilities, such as in sports.

Recently, however, the issue of transgender students using bathrooms that may not align with their birth sex has raised debates and lawsuits nationally.

North Carolina passed a law prohibiting people from using restrooms that did not align with their birth-generated sex, causing a countersuit by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging civil rights violations with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch comparing it to the racially charged “Jim Crow” laws that segregated whites and blacks from using the same facilities like restrooms, drinking fountains and other accommodations until the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s transgender identity,” the letter states.

The letter identifies transgender students as those “whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”

The letter states that schools receiving federal assistance need to agree to “not exclude, separate, deny benefits to or otherwise treat differently” any person on the basis of sex from its programs or activities.

According to the document, a student or their parent or guardian notifies the school’s administrator that the student plans to “assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records” and the school will then treat the student consistent with the student’s chosen gender identity.

No other documentation or diagnosis of a medical professional is required, according to the letter.

Demanding other proof, the letter said, may violate Title IX and could result in federal funds being withheld from the school.

 These accommodations must take place “even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns.”

“As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students,” the letter states.

The “significant guidance” provided in the letter seeks to provide a “safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students,” it said.

While restrooms were the initial point of contention for the action, the letter also addresses pronouns used in gender identity, locker rooms, athletics, overnight stays and housing as well as “other sex specific activities.”

The letter was accompanied by a May 2016 comparison of various policies enacted by school districts throughout the country, showing how the issues are being addressed nationwide.

Chromey said the district would do its best to comply with the edict and that the Board of Education would review the letter and materials to see what policies would need to be created or updated.

He also said the district would look to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA) to see what impact it would have on athletic programs.

“I’m sure (the NJISAA) will come up with any ramifications to go with that,” he said. “As a district, we will, once we have a chance to look at it, will see over the summer what policy and procedures need to be put in place.”

Although the guidance applies to all elementary and middle schools in the district as well, Chromey said it is “mainly a high school matter” and that he has faith it will address any issues appropriately.

He also said that the district’s transgender population only represents a small percentage of the almost 9,000 students.

According to Business Administrator Anthony Tonzini, the district is planning on getting about $2.2 million in federal aid in the 2016-17 budget year.

The district passed its $148 million spending plan earlier this year.

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at or and support local news.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Police Blotter

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 11:00 AM

East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick


Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Sat, March 3

New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Summit

NJDTE Summer Dance Intensive & Young Dancers ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Nutley Police Department: Video Does Not Contain Direct Threat to Nutley Public Schools

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department report that the video that led to Nutley Public Schools being closed did not post a direct threat to any of the township's schools.

Police report that the person responsible for the video has been cooperating with the Nutley Police Department in their investigation. Interviews are on-going, The department is also investigating all ...

East Brunswick Business Owner Sues to Stop New Hotel Going Up in New Brunswick

February 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -The owners of an East Brunswick hotel are suing to halt the construction of another such establishment a few miles away in New Brunswick.

Shan & Dylan LLC, who own a Comfort Suites just off Route 18, filed suit in an effort to press the New Brunswick Planning Board to rescind its approval of the four-story hotel, which ​was issued in November.

That proposal calls for ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

Rutgers to Host Exhibit of Sen. Frank Lautenberg Papers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, left an outsize imprint on state politics and national policy by the time he died while in office, in 2013.

His papers, now curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that, laid end ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of indictments of Russian businesses and nationals for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the presidential election in 2016:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments are the latest ...

Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Feb. 23 benefits SPUR

Come in from the cold and join Special People United to Ride, Inc. (SPUR) at its Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the SPUR Scholarship Fund. The event will be hosted by On the Deck Restaurant and Bar and will feature live music and a 50/50 raffle. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets can be obtained for $25 at ...

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...