Providence school provides policy on transgender students after ACLU lawsuit is filed
The ACLU told NBC 10 that shortly after they filed the lawsuit, they heard from Achievement First Mayoral Academy and were assured they would be provided the policy.
A representative with the ACLU says the organization has not reviewed the policy yet.
The organization says their request was to folds: to get a copy of the policy, and to review if it is compliant with current mandates.
Later in the day a representative for the school sent NBC 10 the school's response to the lawsuit by Elizabeth Winangun, the AF Rhode Island's Director of External Relations.
Winangun says her team has no record of this request, and attests that if they had the school would have "absolutely complied."
"We have a policy regarding transgender students, which we are sending to the ACLU after learning of this issue today," said Winangun in a statement.
Winangun says that the school learned of the request through the ACLU's release about the lawsuit.
The school statement additionally says that it appears the request was sent to a principal that no longer worked at the institution.
The full response could be read below along with their policy:
Our teams responsible for processing public record requests have no record of this request from the ACLU. If we were aware of this request, we would have absolutely complied. We have a policy regarding transgender students, which we are sending to the ACLU after learning of this issue today. We have also been a part of multiple briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts which support transgender student rights, and support school districts establishing strong policies to protect transgender students. In these briefs, we have argued on the same side as the ACLU. We are proud that Achievement First Rhode Island is committed to LGBTQ+ inclusivity, including not only participation in National Day of Silence, National Coming Out Day, and our commitment to gender neutral bathrooms and gender neutral dress codes, but also through professional development sessions developed based on materials provided by the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Initiative.
The ACLU of Rhode Island announced a lawsuit Wednesday against a Providence charger school who did not provide records of the school’s transgender student policy.
The ACLU says that Achievement First Mayoral Academy did not respond to requests from the organization to provide the school policies detailing the rights and protections afforded to transgender students.
This was in response to the Rhode Island Department of Education’s requirement that all local school have a policy in place by the start of July regarding transgender students.
The ACLU says it filed a public records request with every school district in the state for the policies, but Achievement First did not properly respond to the request. Instead it just sent them copies of their general school policies charged the civil liberties organization.
“We are very disappointed by the school’s failure to respond to our request for records,” said Volunteer attorney Annie Goldberg for the ACLU. “RIDE mandates all schools to have policies in place to protect rans students, and the law requires these policies to be made publicly available.”
NBC 10 reached out to Achievement First Mayoral Academy for their side and will update this story when received.
The full complaint is below: