Nashville all-girls school updates gender guidelines to be more inclusive
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A private all-girls school in Nashville has adopted new guidelines to address gender diversity and identity at the school.
The decision comes after Harpeth Hall School originally changed its admission requirements to allow biological males who identify as female to enroll. In August, the school paused the new admission requirement after it was met with strong reactions and opposition.
A month after the pause, the administration at Harpeth Hall says they have now adopted new gender guidelines after hearing from experts on the topic, sharing educational articles and consulting with other girls at the school.
In a letter, the school stated that the following guidelines have now been adopted:
Any girl or young woman may apply to our school in accordance with past practices. Students who join and remain at Harpeth Hall do so because our mission as a school for girls resonates with them.
Harpeth Hall acknowledges the developmental journey of each student and recognizes that adolescence includes natural searching and questioning about many topics. For some students, this may include the question of gender identity and the desire to identify as nonbinary or use they/them pronouns. Harpeth Hall approaches gender identity with understanding and open communication, rather than with shame or othering, and will provide a safe environment to partner with each student and family to consider the needs and requests of the student on an individual basis
If a student communicates a desire to be identified as male or adopt he/him pronouns, we recognize that our school, being a girls school, may no longer be a place that serves that student well. We see this acknowledgment as the ultimate form of respect: an understanding that we support the individual and the student’s gender identity. Harpeth Hall administration will work thoughtfully with the student and family to evaluate next steps.
In a statement, the all-girls school included that they understand that dialogue around gender is evolving rapidly and they will continue to ensure their mission reaches each student as they educate girls and young women “to think critically, lead confidently, and live honorably.”
The new guidelines were adopted on Friday, September 23.