“Non-binary” on School Records (HB 1163)

office files

Cornerstone Action takes a cautionary position on HB 1163. We believe that in its current form, it invites potential unintended negative consequences for the student.

HB 1163 is a requirement to update school documents and software to include the option of identifying a student as non-binary. While we appreciate this is a natural result of recently-enacted legislation, we don’t believe “non-binary” should replace biological sex as a single designator within school records, as the bill currently directs.  Rather, we would recommend another field be created and used for this purpose. While non-binary is a self-identity issue, biological sex does impact other areas such as healthcare. By removing any annotation of the student’s biological sex, appropriate medical care measures may be delayed or not identified. Additionally, a student’s gender identity could be fluid so it would be helpful to have a baseline noted.

We believe the method of implementation needs to be carefully examined to ensure the student is not exposed to unnecessary risk. Preserving recognition of a student’s biological sex while noting the student’s gender identity would seem to be the answer.

We cannot support HB 1163 as currently written.Thank you for your service to the Granite State.

Testimony presented to the House Education Committee by Shannon McGinley, volunteer executive director, Cornerstone Action.