New York Transgender Guidance Suggests Teachers Keep Students’ Gender Transitions Private

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Reagan Reese Contributor
Font Size:

The New York State Education Department released guidance Monday to advise schools on how to create “affirming” environments for transgender children, suggesting that teachers keep students’ gender transitions a secret from their parents.

School systems should not use the student’s transgender name with their parents, unless the child advises otherwise according to the New York guidance. The student is the only one who knows if it is “safe” to come out to their parents and the first thing educators should ask a transgender student is how they can help them through their transitioning process, the guidance states. (RELATED: Red State School District To Ignore State Law, Keep Hiding Kids’ Pronouns From Parents)

“Some TGE [transgender and gender expansive] students have not talked to their families about their gender identity because of safety concerns or lack of acceptance and may begin their transition at school without parent/guardian knowledge,” the guidance states. “Only the student knows whether it is safe to share their identity with caregivers, and schools should be mindful that some TGE students do not want or cannot have their parents/guardians know about their transgender status.”

“The framework provides legal updates and best practices to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws concerning bullying, harassment, discrimination, and student privacy,” a New York State Education Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The update reflects changes to state and federal laws enacted since the release of the last guidance (July 2015). It reflects the most recent data on the experiences of Transgender and Gender Expansive students, as well as current best practices and resources.”

The guidance also explains how educators should use gender neutral pronouns such as “they/them/theirs” and “ze/hir/zir.” The state does not require children to have parental permission to change their name and gender at school and staff should call a student by their “affirmed names and pronouns,” the guidance says.

It is the school staff’s duty to make sure that a student’s preferred name and pronouns are used when the child wants them to be used, the guidance states. School districts should avoid lessons which separate students on the basis of gender and should hold more “gender-neutral” activities, the guidance advises.

“The use of colors, images, or symbols that have been traditionally associated with one gender (e.g., pink vs. blue, construction hats vs. tiaras) to divide or otherwise categorize students by gender is not recommended,” the guidance states.

The guidance advises educators not to use “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentleman” and instead use gender-neutral options such as “friends, learners [and] pals.” School districts should provide students with gender-neutral bathroom options but should also allow students to use facilities on the basis of gender identity, rather than biological sex, the guidance advises.

Across the country, parents are protesting school districts that are hiding their child’s gender transitions; a mother is suing a Maine school district that allegedly kept her daughter’s gender transition a secret, giving the 13-year-old girl multiple chest binders. In Colorado, two families sued a school district, alleging that staff convinced their daughters to join a “secret” club aiming to transition students and conceal the club’s activities from parents.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact