An elite women’s educational institution in Nashville which was founded nearly 160 years ago may soon accept biological males in an effort to accommodate an “expanded and deepened” concept of gender.
Harpeth Hall, a prep school with notable alumnae such as Reese Witherspoon and Amy Grant, recently released a letter outlining a revamped “Gender Diversity Philosophy.”
“As the world evolves, so do our students,” the letter reads in part. “The concept of gender has expanded and deepened over time. The members of our school community have asked good and important questions about gender inclusion and have looked for greater clarity on the school’s practices.”
Because gender has supposedly evolved, Harpeth Hall now says that “[a]ny student who identifies as a girl may apply to our school.”
“While the school claims to support trans students, this support needs to be formalized,” the op-ed from March 2021 says. “Additionally, practices must be implemented to ensure the inclusion of trans students because the assumption that all students at Harpeth Hall are cisgender and female does not accurately depict the student body and ostracizes trans students.”
However, despite the call for inclusivity and the recognition of “trans students,” Harpeth Hall states in the letter that biological female students who identify as male may not be welcome there.
“If a student communicates a desire to be identified as male or adopt he/him pronouns, we recognize that our school, being a girls school, may no longer be a place that serves that student well,” the letter cautions. “We see this acknowledgment as the ultimate form of respect: an understanding that we support the individual and the student’s gender identity.”
Administrators, faculty, and the Harpeth Hall DEI Committee of the Board of Trustees helped develop the new policy, and the letter expresses hope that it will help further the school’s mission to help young women “think critically, lead confidently, and live honorably.”