Here are the new rules for nicknames, bathrooms in Orange County schools

Orange County schools to come back into session on Thursday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With Orange County schools coming back into session on Thursday, district leaders sent out a message to educators to let them know how to implement new rules regarding students’ names and pronouns.

The message shows that district educators will be required to adhere to new state laws HB-1069 and HB-1521, which require teachers to recognize students based on their biological sex.

For example, this means that male students identifying as female would have to be referred to as male by teachers in Florida classrooms. Additionally, the laws require that students use restrooms or locker rooms that match their biological sex.

“The bill (HB-1069) states that ‘Sex’ is an ‘immutable biological trait’ and that it ‘is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex,’” the letter reads. “Since sex is identified as determined by the genitalia ‘present at birth’ that means a person’s sex is his or her biological sex at birth.”

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According to the district, the law also requires transgender employees to identify themselves to students on the basis of the employee’s sex.

Due to the rules, district leaders recommended that educators only use students’ first names listed on a class roster.

However, nicknames may be used if parents fill out a form that authorizes educators to do so. For example, a student named “Robert” would need a parent’s permission to be called “Rob” in the classroom. A copy of that form can be found by clicking here.

Because of HB-1521, transgender students and employees will be required to use either bathrooms that align with their sex or single-stall bathrooms. Transgender students will be provided with single-stall restrooms or coaches’ offices when changing clothes for classes like physical education.

District officials said that visitors entering school bathrooms designated for the opposite sex could face criminal charges of trespassing.

For more information on the district’s plans to adhere to the new state laws, click here.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.