BY Sarah Weaver
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha has released revised gender guidelines for schools after months of conflict over the scope of the policy, the Omaha Times reports Monday.
The Archdiocese released the original policy in August, requiring students, school staff and volunteers at its 70 member schools to use the pronouns and facilities, such as bathrooms, consistent with their biological sex.
The revised policy was approved on Dec. 9, and remains “rooted” in the same “Catholic understanding of gender” that informed the earlier guidelines.
“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,” the policy stipulates.
Both versions of the policy clarify that merely experiencing gender dysphoria does not disqualify a student from attending one of the archdiocese’s schools. The updated version applies to students but does not mention staff or volunteers.
Three Catholic schools in the archdiocese — Creighton Prep, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and Marian High School — have voiced objections to the policy.
“While questions about sexuality and gender can be complex in the context of Catholic teaching, it is our duty as a Catholic school in the Ignatian tradition to meet anyone who has these questions with pastoral care and sensitivity that embodies God’s limitless love for each person,” Fr. Matt Spotts of Creighton Prep wrote in a letter.
LGBTQ advocates have criticized the policy, claiming it will harm young people who identify as transgender.
“Not only will this policy destroy trans kids’ self-esteem, mental health and social lives, but it will also endanger hundreds of children living with transphobic families who will have to be kept informed under the new regulations,” staff writer Maddie Genoways wrote in an op-ed in The Wayne Stater.
The Archdiocese of Omaha did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s inquiries about why the policy was updated and whether it still applies to staff and volunteers.
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