ACLU of Rhode Island warns school committee members not to revisit gender policy that requires staff to withhold information from parents about their own children


On May 1, 2023 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Rhode Island sent a letter to school Smithfield, Rhode Island committee members to express concerns over recent discussions about the district’s “Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Transitioning Students Policy.” The specific concern they cited was “with respect to parental notification.”

Although the policy is not on tonight’s school committee agenda, we offer the comments below in the hope that the committee will recognize the inadvisability of reviving that discussion at any future meeting. That is because we believe that any revisions along the lines of past discussions are problematic both as a matter of policy and of law, and should be rejected.

Excerpt from RI ACLU letter below

Their letter seems to be an attempt to suppress speech and the free exchange of ideas about district policy at a public meeting of the district’s governing body. It also makes questionable claims about law and the constitution. A PDF of the full letter is below:

Smithfield, Rhode Island is on our list of school districts that allow or require school staff to withhold information from parents about their child’s gender identity and gender support plan at school.