Public School Districts Are Cutting Parents Out Of Their Child’s Gender Transition

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Public school districts across the country have implemented policies that allow students to “transition” genders without their parents’ knowledge or permission.

When the Obama administration published a guidance last month instructing public schools to allow boys who identify as girls to use the girls bathroom, it also published a list of existing policies around the country to serve as examples. Until now, that list has received little (if any) attention from the media.

Several school districts on the list have policies in place that allow parents to be kept in the dark about their child’s decision to switch genders.

“The District of Columbia Public Schools issued guidance (‘DCPS Guidance’) noting that ‘students may choose to have their parents participate in the transition process, but parental participation is not required,'” the list points out.

The list notes that DCPS “recommends working closely with older students prior to notification of family.”

A similar set of guidelines from Chicago Public Schools instructs staff not to tell parents about their child’s gender transition without the child’s permission.

“When speaking with other staff members, parents, guardians, or third parties, school staff should not disclose a student’s preferred name, pronoun, or other confidential information pertaining to the student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status without the student’s permission, unless authorized to do so by the Law Department,” the guidelines state.

Also on the list of examples is a policy guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Education, which notes, “Some transgender and gender nonconforming students are not openly so at home for reasons such as safety concerns or lack of acceptance.”

Therefore, the guidance says, “School personnel should speak with the student first before discussing a student’s gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student’s parent or guardian.”

A policy guidance from the Oregon Department of Education notes that “transgender students may not want their parents to know about their transgender identity.” School employees are instructed to “balance the goal of supporting the student with the requirement that parents be kept informed about their children.”

The “paramount consideration,” the guidance states, “should be the health and safety of the student, while also making sure that the student’s gender identity is affirmed in a manner that maintains privacy and confidentiality.”

The full list of “emerging practices” can be read here.

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