Bellevue School District has policy to keep gender identity of students a secret from parents; explains that it could be “very dangerous” to reveal a student’s gender identity


The Bellevue School District has a policy titled “Gender-Inclusive Schools” that explicitly states that staff can keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy states that “school employees should not disclose a student’s transgender or gender-expansive status to others, including the student’s parents and/or other school personnel, unless the school is (1) legally required to do so or (2) the student has authorized such disclosure.” In another section the policy states that it could be “very dangerous” to tell parents about a student’s preferred gender identity:

Before communicating with parents of transgender or gender expansive students, it is important to ask the student how school employees should refer to the student when talking with their parents and guardians. For families who are supportive, using the student’s name and pronoun could be affirming for the student. For parents who are not supportive, or who are not aware of the student’s transition at school, referring to their name and pronoun could be very dangerous. When school personnel must contact the parents of a transgender or gender-expansive student, best practice dictates that gender pronouns should be avoided unless the student has been consulted first to determine an appropriate way to reference the student’s gender identity.

The policy then appears to threaten staff who do tell parents about the gender identity of their children: “The district will not condone the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity or gender expression, or inappropriate release of information regarding a student’s transgender or gender-expansive status.”

Students are allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their preferred gender identity at school. Students are also allowed to participate in sports and school activities according to their preferred gender identity.