Baldwin County Public Schools includes LGBTQ issues and gender ideology in guidance for school counselors; guidance mandates school counselors to “affirm” preferred gender identity of students


Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama has a document posted online titled “Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Plan 2022-2023.” The document states that students should have “equitable access” to school counselors who “affirm all students regardless of but not limited to ethnic/racial identity; nationality; age; social class; economic status; abilities/disabilities; language; immigration status; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender expression; family type; religious/spiritual identity; and living situations, including emancipated minor status, wards of the state, homelessness or incarceration.”

The document also mandates that school counselors “respect” the “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” of students. The document further mandates that school counselors “understand and advocate for all students’ right to be treated in a manner that honors and respects their identity and expression, including but not limited to race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, language and ability status.”

The document additionally mandates that school counselors “actively advocate for systemic and other changes needed for equitable participation and outcomes in educational programs when disproportionality exists regarding enrollment in such programs by race, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, language, immigration status, juvenile justice/court involvement, housing, socioeconomic status, ability, foster care, transportation, special education, mental health and/or any other exceptionality or special need.”

The school district has another document titled “2022-2023 School Counselors’ Handbook” posted online. The handbook states: “The mission of the school counseling and guidance program in the Baldwin County Public School System is to effectively provide a motivating, safe, and trusting environment which empowers all students to become life-long emotional, social, academic, and career-oriented citizens.” The handbook contains a template bullying form titled “Student Bullying Complaint Form.”

The template includes several reasonings as to why a student can be bullied. Some reasonings appear to be based on gender ideology. Categories of bullying on the form include “because of gender identity” and “because of gender expression.” The handbook additionally lists “The Trevor Project” as a resource.

The Trevor Project is an organization known for providing children with resources such as the “Understanding Gender Identities” guide. This resource states that “gender is actually a social construct.” The organization’s resource also appears to encourage children to question their gender and mentions the possibility of having surgery to transition:

If you decide that your current gender or sex just isn’t right, you may want to make your gender identity fit with your ideal gender expression and presentation. This is called “transitioning,” and can include social (like telling other people about which pronouns you like), legal (like changing your name, officially), or medical (like taking hormones, or having surgery). You don’t have to go through all of these things to be “officially” transgender, or to have your gender identity be valid. It’s all up to you, and what feels safe and comfortable.

The Trevor Project promotes children questioning their gender.

The school district has a document posted online titled “Mental Health Matters: Everyone has a Story.” The document has a section dedicated to “LGBTQ Youth” and explains one way to help children is “family acceptance of one’s sexuality and/or gender identity.” The document also lists “The Trevor Project” as a resource.