DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - A Decatur Public School alumna submitted a transgender equality and protection proposal to the Decatur Public School Board.

Alana Banks submitted the proposal to the Decatur Public School Board to address the unique challenged facing gender non-conforming students.

"It is something that would be pretty historic in the district," Banks said.

The proposal, named DPS 61 Pride Project, included recommendations and rules covering dress code, extra-curricular activities, student transitions, student privacy and staff training. It also included recommendations for the creation of gay-straight student alliance groups.

"It's basic guidelines - keeping the district in compliance with laws that are already set into place at the state level," she said.

Banks, a 2013 graduate of Eisenhower High School, said the reason she submitted the proposal is to ensure transgender students have the same educational experience as their peers.

"It was very tough growing up as openly queer - you know I am a transgender woman myself, so it was very tough for me matriculating through Decatur Public Schools and I just want to make sure that no other student will have to go through what I went through."

Driven by her own experiences, Banks said she knows the district is committed to building a safe and constructive learning environment for Decatur students. Banks explained public school should also be a place that welcomes all cultures, backgrounds and aspects of life.

"There are many students who struggle with being queer or LGBT," she said. "We just basically want to keep schools safe and have a chance for people to express themselves and we want kids to be able to go to school and not have to worry about how their gender identity or expression will impact their education."

In 2018, Banks drafted, proposed, and successfully lobbied a proclamation signed by Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe to officially declare June Pride Month in Decatur.

The DPS 61 Pride Project can be found here. The proposal is under review by the Decatur Public Schools Board.

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