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Transgender Issues in Schools: Supporting Students and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls


Gain a better understanding of how to accommodate transgender students.

This topic will discuss legal issues, practical implications, and how to manage these issues day-to-day.School officials and personnel are grappling with understanding how best to address issues related to accommodating transgender students in school and school-related activities. The legal issues may seem murky to many and the legal landscape is shifting. This topic will help you understand the status of existing law as well as action steps which schools may consider to address the accommodation of transgender student needs in a school setting. The information will also focus on measures to be taken to avoid legal pitfalls including a school's responsibility to address complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying and training of school administrators and staff.

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Transgender Issues in Schools: Supporting Students and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls


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Transgender Issues in Schools: Supporting Students and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls


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Mary Kay Klimesh

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

  • Partner in Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Chicago office
  • Engages in a broad-based practice concentrating in education law at the pre-school through higher education levels in both the public and private sectors
  • Provides in-depth assistance and counseling on matters such as board governance; regulatory compliance, including Title IX and FERPA compliance; policy development; due process issues in the academic setting; faculty contract and employment decisions; employee discipline, evaluation and training; investigation of employee misconduct; employee and student civil rights and discrimination issues, including representation of educational entities in response to the investigation of complaints by the DOE Office of Civil Rights; accommodation of employees and students with disabilities under the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and IDEIA; intergovernmental and joint agreements by and between educational entities; and obligations under the Illinois Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act
  • Has contributed to publications and has made presentations on education sector legal issues for organizations including the American Bar Association, the National Council of School Attorneys, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, and the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • Past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of State and Local Government Law; she also serves on the Executive Committee for the Illinois Council of School Attorneys and is a past Chair of the Education Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association
  • J.D. degree, University of Iowa College of Law; B.A. degree, Trinity University
Sam Schwartz-Fenwick

Sam Schwartz-Fenwick

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

  • Partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Particularly well-versed in benefits-related litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Significant experience in general employment matters
  • Frequent speaker and has written numerous publications
  • J.D. degree, cum laude, Northwestern University School of Law; B.A. degree, summa cum laude, Tufts University
  • Can be contacted at 312-460-5948 or [email protected]
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Transgender Issues in Schools: Supporting Students and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

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