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AZ to Require Parental Permission For Schools to Refer to Students As Different Pronouns

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

State senator-elect John Kavanagh (R-AZ) introduced a proposal that would require parental permission for schools to refer to students' desired pronouns that are opposite their biological sex. 


“An employee or independent contractor of a school district or charter school may not knowingly address, identify or refer to a student who is under eighteen years of age by a pronoun that differs from the pronoun that aligns with the student’s biological sex unless the school district or charter school receives written permission from the student’s parent,” Kavanagh’s proposal read. 

The bill also protects those who have moral and religious obligations. It states that a school district or charter school may not require staff to refer to a person that differs from their biological pronoun if it contradicts their religious or moral convictions. 

“Under my bill, you can call a person by a different pronoun or you can even call the person by a name associated with the opposite biological gender, so long as the parents have given permission,” the Republicans said. 

Kavanagh added that this will help students who need help, find it. 


“Transgender students are often under psychological stress… in fact, there’s a term called gender dysphoria and that type of condition needs parental assistance and perhaps even medical attention that the parents refer the students to. This cannot happen if the school keeps the parents in the dark,” he continued.

However, newly-elected governor Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) could potentially throw the bill away. 

“I’m not willing to assume that Gov. Hobbs would want to keep parents in the dark, especially when the children have a condition that results overall in higher suicide rates,” Kavanagh said, adding, “I think parents need to know, they need to get help for the children and counseling. I’m not going to assume the governor would oppose that.” 

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