Columbus City Schools has vague policy regarding parental rights with students who identify as transgender; policy mandates that staff use the preferred pronouns of students


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Columbus City Schools seeking any guidance or policies that the school district has regarding transgender students. The district provided PDE with a policy titled “Transgender and Gender Variant Students.” The policy states that “parents/guardians must be kept informed of any name or pronoun usage changes.” However, the policy also vaguely states: “In situations where the parent/guardian is opposed to any name or pronoun usage changes, school staff will continue to work with families and students in an effort to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.” School districts will often ignore parents who disagree with their children identifying as the opposite gender.

The policy also mandates for staff to use the preferred pronouns of students, including calling singular students by the plural pronouns “they” and “them.” The policy states:

Students shall be addressed or referred to by the pronouns associated with their transgender and gender nonconforming identity, ie: “he”, “his”, “him”, “she”, “her”, “hers”, “they”, “them”, “theirs”, et al.

Students are allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms and participate in sports that match their preferred gender identity. The district explains that when considering overnight field trips, the school “shall take into consideration the desires of the individual transgender or gender nonconforming student.”