Transgender Students in Illinois Will Receive More Protections

July 1, 2019 AT 8:10 AM

By Karma Allen

Illinois Governor Jay Pritzker closed out Pride Month on Sunday by signing an executive order that aims to protect transgender students throughout the state.

Pritzker said the order establishes a new Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force, and directs the state’s public school board to take “comprehensive action” to better support transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students.

He said the order would “disrupt the patterns of discrimination” in classrooms statewide.

“We're taking one more step toward securing Illinois’ place as a leader in equality and hope. Under this executive order, ignorance is no longer an excuse for bigotry,” Pritzker said in a tweet Sunday. “This executive order establishes the Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force and directs @ISBEnews take comprehensive action to ensure every LGBTQ student is supported and welcomed in their schools.”

The 25-member task force will help to establish practices that promote LGBTQ students’ rights as well as educate school officials on issues specific to the transgender experience, including issues surrounding name changes, preffered pronouns and dress codes. The task force is expected to make policy recommendations to the governor’s office by Jan.1, 2020.

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