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In a call with Harpeth Hall alumnae from the 1990s, school officials revealed they had been discussing issues related to transgender students for six years, and the current policy related to biological males applying is an “honor system.” 

Last week, the elite all-girls school in Nashville announced a new “Gender Diversity Philosophy” which would allow “any student who identifies as a girl” to apply to the school. The school later paused implementation of the philosophy after facing backlash from members of the community. A letter from parents, alumnae and donors was then sent to the Board of Trustees calling for the resignation of all those involved in implementing the policy. 

In a Zoom town hall call obtained by Fox News Digital, Harpeth Hall head of school Jess Hill said the issue “is something we have thought about and worked on for probably six years.” 

In the call, which was designed for Harpeth Hall alumnae from the 1990s, Hill said the process that ultimately led to the new philosophy began six years ago, when the school “started a task force” to discuss issues related to transgender students. 

PETITION LAUNCHES SUPPORTING POLICY ALLOWING BIOLOGICAL MALES TO APPLY TO AN ELITE ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN (Noelle Sunderland/Fox News Digital)

In the call, Hill said the “Transgender Task Force” included both trustees and faculty that began reading and studying how the issue may affect the school

The school’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan document, housed on the school website, lists Strategic Plan Task Forces, but does not include any task force related to transgender students. 

The task force, Hill said, decided the “best policy was to not have a policy,” for several years, until more students at the school began discussing the issue, and rumors spread through the community about there being transgender students at the all-girls school. 

ELITE ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL PAUSES ADOPTION OF POLICY ALLOWING TRANSGENDER WOMEN TO APPLY AFTER BACKLASH

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN (Noelle Sunderland/Fox News Digital)

Later in the call, Hill added that the current admission policy “is an honor system.” 

“If a girl says she is a girl, she is a girl,” Hill said, adding that the new philosophy was designed to be more specific in the language. 

Harpeth Hall board chair Chrissy Weick also said there was a petition asking the school to “define girl.” 

“I’m not sure that anyone can do [that]. I’m not going to step into that water on this call,” she said. 

Weick also highlighted a growing number of community members who have reached out to her, other members of the board, and school faculty with encouragement and support of the philosophy. A petition supporting the philosophy garnered over 1,000 signatures, before the publishing of this article. 

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Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN (Noelle Sunderland/Fox News Digital)

Hill also said that to the best of her knowledge, the school has “no reason to believe there has been an inquiry or an application from a biological male.” 

“It’s all hypothetical at this point,” she said. 

An alumna of the school, who asked to remain anonymous over privacy concerns, criticized the school for their communication of the policy, particularly the lack of dialogue in the town hall, where all alumna participants were on mute. 

“After joining the 90s alumni Zoom call, it quickly became clear that the dialogue was a one-way street, with Harpeth Hall top officials talking as much as possible to ‘run out the shot clock,’” she told Fox News Digital. “It was obvious the board and administrators never intended to answer any questions submitted by concerned attendees.” 

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Harpeth Hall dates its history to 1865 and is an elite college-prep school for girls grades 5-12. Notable alumna of the school include actress Reese Witherspoon and singer Amy Grant.

The school did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Kelsey Koberg is an Editor with Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @KelseyKoberg.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/media/harpeth-hall-created-transgender-task-force-six-years-ago-reveals-head-school

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