Walking back a controversial six-page gender policy it planned to add to the archdiocesan school’s handbook on January 1, 2023, the Archdiocese of Omaha has replaced it with a narrower single-page policy that will be implemented for the 2023-2024 school year.
The move comes after the former policy, which the archdiocese said was “prematurely shared” in August, generated pushback. Unlike the former, the revised policy doesn’t mention possible dismissal or disciplinary action for transgender students, and drops the portion that applied to school employees and volunteers.
Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha said in a statement that the revised policy “balances the pastoral needs and obligations of parents, guardians, students, and school leaders within the mission of the Church,” and “acknowledges our responsibility to uphold Catholic teaching in our schools.”
The revised policy, which was approved on Dec. 9 and obtained by Crux, states:
Omaha archdiocese walks back controversial gender policy for schools | Crux
- In the Archdiocese of Omaha, all Catholic schools shall respect the biological sex of each student and shall apply all policies and procedures in relation to that student according to each student’s God-given biological sex.
- All students shall conduct themselves in accord with their God-given biological sex as it relates to the use of personal pronouns, dress code, use of public bathrooms, and participation in school-sponsored activities. All official school documents shall likewise reflect the student’s biological sex.
- Admission or retention will not be denied based solely on a student’s experience of gender dysphoria. If a student experiences gender dysphoria and/or incongruence, school leaders and pastors shall partner with parents to establish an accompaniment plan. This plan must follow the teachings of the Catholic faith.
- If at any time, parents, guardians or students desire accommodations or accompaniment that do not follow this policy, it may be necessary to begin the school transfer process for the good of the student and the school community. At every stage of this process, parents and guardians will be invited to their parish for pastoral support.