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School Districts Across a Red State Adopted Policies to Hide Students’ Gender Transitions From Parents

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Documents obtained by a parental rights group show that school districts across the state of Idaho adopted policies to conceal students’ gender transitions from their parents after the Idaho State School Board Association instructed them to do so. 

According to parental rights organization Parents Defending Education, several Idaho school districts implemented policies that stated that school staff members could be demoted or terminated for violating a student’s confidentiality relating to LGBTQ+ issues, including disclosing the student’s gender identity from their parents. The policies were discovered in FOIA documents obtained by PDE. The ISSBA provided school districts with a template to create such policies.

For example, the Orofino Joint School District’s policy adapted by the ISSBA states that: “School employees should not disclose a student’s transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals...the student’s parents/guardians, unless they have a legitimate need to know or unless the student has authorized such disclosure. Action in violation of such student confidentiality may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination and for certificated personnel, a report to the Professional Standards Commission.”

Another school district in Juliaetta, Idaho appeared to pay the Idaho School Boards Association at least $2,000 for “template policies,” which included a template to create the district’s LGBTQ+ policy keeping parents in the dark about their child’s gender identity. 

"This is further proof that living in a 'red' state doesn't protect families from these issues in school - and that the traditional power brokers in education policy who families have trusted for many years, like school board associations, are as much a part of the problem as well-known activist groups,” PDE President Nicki Neily said. It's worth noting that state school board associations are funded by dues from local school boards - which themselves are paid for through taxes. It's time for local school districts to take a stand against these unaccountable bureaucracies and cut off the spigot."

In September, Republican Sen. Tim Scott (SC) introduced legislation that would prevent schools from hiding information about a students “gender identity” from their parents, which Townhall covered

“The law in the United States has long recognized the importance of parental rights. A parent’s right to oversee the care education of their child is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment,” the bill reads. “Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way they choose.”

“Public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning from their parents,” it continued.

“These schools are sabotaging the parent-child relationship and encouraging children to keep secrets from the adults who are charged with protecting and defending them – their parents,” the bill said. “Children do best when their parents are actively involved in their education.”

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