Thousands of schools across the country provide teachers and staff with guidelines that mandate or urge them to keep students’ gender identity a secret from parents, a parental rights organization alleges.
Parents Defending Education (PDE) maintains a state-by-state list of schools and school districts that have policies allowing or requiring staff to hide students’ gender identities.
The organization’s website includes a list of school districts by state it says “have Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Policies that openly state that district personnel can or should keep a student’s transgender status hidden from parents.”
While the list is not all-inclusive, the organization found 1,000 school districts and 17,612 total schools have implemented such policies. Altogether, 10,215,454 students attend those schools. “This list is not comprehensive; if you are aware of a district policy that is not on the list, please notify PDE,” the site requests.
“We can barely keep up with our tracker because the numbers are so overwhelming, as parents constantly send us their schools’ policies to add to the list,” Director of Outreach Erika Sanzi remarked in a statement to the Daily Caller. “These policies that deliberately deceive parents are pervasive and we must eradicate them.”
Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the country and the largest in the state of California, has a policy that states, “…school personnel shall take into consideration the safety, health and well-being of the student in deciding whether to disclose the student’ gender identity or expression to parents.”
Chicago Public Schools policy instructs staff not to tell parents about students’ gender identity and even states that students can participate in overnight field trips “in accordance with the gender identity consistently asserted at school.”
Meanwhile, some schools have not only hidden the gender identity of students from their parents but allegedly encouraged transition attempts without parental consent.
Amber Lavigne, a mother in Maine’s Central Lincoln County School System, claims that a social worker secretly provided her 13-year-old daughter with breast binders, pieces of clothing meant to flatten the chest. Lavigne is now suing the school district.