The Chatham School District has a policy titled “Transgender Students and Employees” that explicitly states that staff can keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy mandates that staff use the preferred names and pronouns of students. The policy adds: “Transgender and gender nonconforming students/employees are encouraged to discuss how they want to be addressed in class, in the workplace, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.” The policy then explains:
When contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender student, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth, unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise.
Students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms and participate in sports according to their preferred gender identity. Staff will also participate in training on transgender issues.
Parents Defending Education submitted two public records requests to the district asking where the transgender policy originated but did not receive a response either time. Other districts that did respond told PDE that the policy originated with the Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB).