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New Florida policy aids transgender students doing distance learning amid coronavirus

After years of fighting with his Virginia high school, transgender student Gavin Grim finally gets the ruling he was hoping for. USA TODAY

The abrupt switch from in-person classes to online learning hasn’t always been easy. From strained platforms handling hundreds of thousands of logins at a time, to disparities in technology access and sometimes excessive workloads, students have described feeling overwhelmed. But experts say it can be even worse for transgender students.

Now, the school district in Jacksonville, Florida, is working to make things a little easier.

When students log on to Duval HomeRoom — the Duval County school district’s online hub for distance learning — their school-assigned email account or a Microsoft TEAMS video session with their teacher, their legal name is displayed for all to see. For transgender students who go by a different name, it’s a constant sting.

‘It’s been hell’: Parents struggle with distance learning for their kids with disabilities

“Each and every time I log on to the website to complete my daily assignments, seeing my birth name makes me uncomfortable,” said one student, whom The Florida Times-Union did not name for privacy. “It also makes me uncomfortable to interact with other students, as well as […]

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