In the last few years, stories about transgender rights have made their way to the forefront of national attention. These issues have cropped up in every area from workplaces, to shopping, to healthcare policy, so it’s no surprise that schools, too, are grappling with the correct way to deal with new understandings of gender identity.
After Board consideration, Maharishi School has adopted a formal policy for faculty, staff, and students that is in line with the US Departments of Education and Justice recommendations and the state of Iowa’s civil rights law. Our pledge to community members is this: “Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment upholds the dignity and developmental opportunity of every student and faculty member. We accept responsibility for providing a safe and supportive learning environment for every member of our school community.”
We intend to fulfill this promise through a change in facilities and guidelines, as well as an ongoing effort to teach students, faculty and staff about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.
The adoption of this policy means that Maharishi School will treat each student’s self-proclaimed gender identity as their sex, without requiring a medical diagnosis or treatment as a prerequisite for accommodation. Transgender students will not be excluded, separated, denied benefits, or otherwise treated differently based on their gender identity unless authorized by law. Policy changes will cover everything from the locker room and field trip accommodations, to uniform requirements, to names and pronouns used by every member of our school community.
We are committed to being a model Diversity Responsive school, to providing a safe and stimulating learning environment for all students. Our Consciousness-Based education opens our students to experience a universal, underlying field of pure consciousness, the ideal foundation for a Diversity Responsive, Gender Inclusive school and leader in education.
We are confident that these modifications will be adopted smoothly and seamlessly into the academic life of everyone at Maharishi School, and serve as an additional way that we prepare our students for an inclusive and peaceful future.