Alpine School District has guidance to keep gender identity of students hidden from parents; Utah State Board of Education provides guidance to districts that advises them to keep gender identity hidden from parents


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the Alpine School District seeking any transgender guidance used for students. The district provided PDE with a document titled “Guiding Principles for Respecting Gender Diversity in Alpine School District.” The document explicitly states that parents can be left in the dark regarding the gender identity of their children:

There is no requirement under the law to report the gender identity to a parent or guardian unless the student is asking for a change to their educational record or program (such as to be referred by a different name than the name on record or pronouns).

The document also emphasizes this point:

Due to safety concerns, there may be circumstances wherein students’ parents or guardians should not be contacted. Please work with school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and the Division of Child and Family Services under these circumstances.

PDE submitted a second public records request asking where the language of the document originated. The district told PDE that the document was modeled from an “Example Matrix” created by the Utah State Board of Education. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) specifically states in the document that the gender identity of students can be hidden from parents:

Generally, a parent/guardian is already aware of their student’s gender identity and transition status. If not, school personnel should work closely with the student to assess barriers to parental participation and to consider the health, wellbeing, and safety of the student prior to parent notification.

This document later explains: “The age of the student will impact the school’s involvement of parents; however, parental participation is not required for a student to request an accommodation.” Students as young as sixth grade can request gender identity accommodations without parental knowledge: “Grades 6-12: Generally, notification from students’ parents about their students’ gender identity, gender expression, or transition is unnecessary.”

The USBE also states that students should be able to use the restrooms that match their preferred gender identity: “School administration should consider the desires of the transgender student, parent/guardian, and the privacy interests of other students. Various options should be discussed, including, but not limited to allowing the transgender student to use the facilities corresponding with the gender identity, the use of single-use restrooms, and/or using an alternate changing schedule.”

Students are also allowed to participate in sports according to their preferred gender identity, according to the USBE.