(Omaha, NE) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha releases their revamped gender identity policy, which no longer addresses staff.
The policy, released Friday, was revised after backlash from an initial release earlier this year addressed not only students, but teachers, staff and volunteers who identify as something other than their gender assigned at birth. The Archdiocese says students will not be barred from enrolling in one of their 52 elementary schools or 12 co-ed high schools, but they say, "If a child experiences gender dysphoria, school leaders and pastors will partner with parents to establish an accompaniment plan that follows the teaching of the Catholic faith."
A release from the Archdiocese states:
All efforts to form and accompany young people, especially in relation to human gender, must recall the intrinsic dignity of the human person. It is necessary to affirm that “the dignity of the human person is rooted in [their] creation in the image and likeness of God.” Image and likeness find their expression in each of the two sexes as they provide an “image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way.” Thus, male and female are unique and complementary. Moreover, “biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.” Today, this reality of creation, sex, and gender is sometimes misunderstood and ignored. Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children; therefore, Catholic schools partner with parents in communicating the Gospel and drawing young people closer to Jesus Christ. The Archdiocese of Omaha provides this school policy, rooted in the Catholic understanding of gender, to guide the accompaniment offered to those experiencing gender dysphoria and/or in congruence in our school communities.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 in congruence, school leaders and pastors shall partner with parents to establish an accompaniment plan. This plan must follow the teachings of the Catholic faith.
4. 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.
The archdiocese says the revised policy will go into effect for the 2023-24 school year.