Davidson County Schools provided training that advised counselors how to keep secrets from parents


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Davidson County Schools seeking any training provided to staff on transgender issues. PDE received a presentation back from the district dated July 16, 2021, titled “Transgender Students: The Next Four Years.” One slide is advice for school counselors that appears to advise them on how to keep secrets from parents regarding gender identity. The presentation states that because of FERPA, “parents have rights to notes.” Counselors are then advised to “don’t write down anything or email anything you wouldn’t want a parent to see/know.”

The presentation tells staff that “gender identity refers to one’s internal sense of gender, which may be different from one’s assigned sex.” The presentation also provided examples of what has happened regarding gender identity in other districts. The presentation further has best practices that include “keep an open mind,” “remind staff to keep an open mind,” “educate yourself,” “remember that the parent may have a lot of anxiety,” “refer parents to counseling if necessary,” and “refer to the student using preferred name and gender pronouns.”