A new change will allow North Carolina public school records to display a student's chosen name, as opposed to their legal name. 

The state Department of Public Instruction has notified school officials that a new information system will allow for a "preferred name” to be used on most student records, including state reports, student report cards, and teacher grade books. The legal name will only be displayed on official state student transcripts.

LGBTQ advocates are praising the decision as a victory for transgender students. Craig White is with the Asheville-based Campaign For Southern Equality. He tells The News & Observer that the change protects the privacy of transgender students and "respects who they are rather than misgendering them or misidentifying them.”

The change has garnered some protest from Conservative-leaning groups. The N.C. Values Coalition released a statement saying "public schools should not be used as a tool for social engineering.” And an official with the N.C. Family Policy Council expressed concern that people who make this decision at a young age may choose to go back to being identified by their biological sex.

DPI says the change will take effect during a system update later this month.

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