Nashville’s all-girls school is disrupting the policy that would allow anyone who identifies as a woman to attend

Nashville’s all-girls school is disrupting the policy that would allow anyone who identifies as a woman to attend

An elite all-girls school in Nashville that had planned to open enrollment to anyone who identifies as a woman has overturned the policy after backlash from parents and alum.

Officials at Harpeth Hall, a $33,000-a-year private school in Tennessee, sent a letter to students and parents saying that after criticism of plans to enroll transgender students, they continue to only accept “girls and boys women,” reported WSMV.

“We know that this philosophy generated strong reactions of support and opposition beyond our expectations,” the principals wrote.

‘Based on the response from our school community, the Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees decides to pause adoption of the philosophy in order to engage a broader audience in an ongoing discussion.’

The decision came after more than 1,000 stakeholders signed a letter opposing the policy, saying the school had failed to “think critically” when it proposed “changing a policy that has been in place for 155 years, applications only.” to accept from women”.

Harpeth Hall, a $33,000-a-year private school in Tennessee, rescinded a proposed policy to include transgender women after backlash from parents and alum

More than 1,000 advocacy groups signed a letter opposing the policy, saying the school had failed to

More than 1,000 advocacy groups signed a letter opposing the policy, saying the school had failed to “think critically” when proposing the move to an all-female school

The opposition has specifically phoned the school's chief executive, Crissy Wieck (right), saying the administration has lost parents' trust in the leadership

The opposition has specifically phoned the school’s chief executive, Crissy Wieck (right), saying the administration has lost parents’ trust in the leadership

In a letter to Crissy Wieck, the board chairwoman and other school officials, concerned parents, alumni and school donors accused the school administration of focusing “more on political activism than on the education” of the students.

“We want to provide our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and friends with an educational environment where they can learn how to think, not what to think,” the letter reads.

The group also called for the resignation of Weick and school executive committee members Jessica Bliss and Dr. Nancy Beveridge, and urged the school to place a group-chosen replacement on the board.

“Based on how you have handled this recent gender policy communication, we have no confidence in any current members of the board or administration being able to remedy this issue.

“We’re not doing this out of anger, but out of concern for Harpeth Hall’s past, present and future.”

Bliss, the school’s communications director, said the policy was intended only as an internal philosophy for faculty, students and parents, which was proposed after a student came forward and asked to use she-they pronouns.

“This philosophy has been misinterpreted by some as a change in admissions policies at Harpeth Hall,” Bliss told The Tennessean. “We are and always have been an independent girls’ school.”

The school has said no transgender girls have applied to Harpeth Hall.

Harpeth Hall did not immediately respond to ‘s request for comment.

The opposition group sent a letter to the board calling for the resignation and replacement of the board chair with a female executive of their choice

The opposition group sent a letter to the board calling for the resignation and replacement of the board chair with a female executive of their choice

The new policy came after school administrators, faculty and the Board of Trustees’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee came together to better understand gender identity.

The team consulted with practitioners, read educational articles on the subject and spoke to other girls’ schools before deciding to expand their gender diversity philosophy.

The letter to parents contained brief guidelines on admission, but used open language and emphasized an individual basis for enrollment decisions.

“Harpeth Hall is an all-girls school,” the letter said. “The school culture is unique and clearly girl-centric, including the use of references to students as girls and young women, and a collective use of female pronouns.”

The document goes on to say that students join the school because they resonate with the mission and the women-centric environment.

In cases of non-binary students or those using s/he pronouns, it will be spoken individually, the school said. Harpeth Hall would work with individual families to meet the needs of the students.

The policy also stated that a trans male student who uses he/him pronouns cannot be “served” by an all-girls school. The institution would work directly with these families to determine next steps.

“We see this recognition as the ultimate form of respect: an understanding that we support the individual and the student’s gender identity,” the school’s statement read about transgender male students.

The school said its decision to open enrollment to anyone who identifies as female underscores the institution's commitment to promoting an

The school said its decision to open enrollment to anyone who identifies as female underscores the institution’s commitment to promoting an “inclusive educational environment.”

In cases of non-binary students or those using s/he pronouns, it will be spoken individually, the school said.  The policy also stated that a trans male student who uses he/him pronouns cannot be

In cases of non-binary students or those using s/he pronouns, it will be spoken individually, the school said. The policy also stated that a trans male student who uses he/him pronouns cannot be “served” by an all-girls school

More than 1,200 people signed a petition in support of new gender philosophy policies

More than 1,200 people signed a petition in support of new gender philosophy policies

Amidst the wave of opposition, the school has also garnered support for the now-repealed policy, as a petition in favor of transgender inclusion had garnered more than 1,200 signatures online as of Friday night.

“We are alumnae, parents and community members of Harpeth Hall, and we support the vision of a Harpeth Hall that is inclusive and empowering for all girls,” the petition reads.

“We believe trans girls deserve the same opportunities and respect as cis girls.

“Therefore we support the spirit of the original philosophy and trust that the administration will make the best choice if or when the hypotheses put forward come knocking on the door.”

The Harper Hall debate comes a month after a new state law banning transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports went into effect.

The law, signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee, went into effect July 1 and provides harsh penalties for public schools that violate the ban.