Elko County School District has policy that allows teachers to keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents; sports participation determined by gender identity


The Elko County School District has a policy titled “Gender-Based Discrimination/Harassment/Bullying of Students Prohibited” that was updated on June 9, 2020. The policy states that the district recognizes “student physical privacy rights and the need to ensure student safety and maintain school discipline.” The policy then states that “site administration and staff” must “take responsible measures to maintain the confidentiality of a gender non-conforming student’s gender assigned at birth as well as the fact that the student is a gender non-conforming student.” This includes keeping the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy explains:

The status of gender non-conforming students must be kept private except to the extent necessary to disclose such status to school officials or otherwise. If a student requests that the school not communicate with the student’s parents or guardians about such status, explore the basis of the student’s concern. In all circumstances, the guiding principle is the well-being of the student.

The policy then appears to force teachers and students to use the preferred pronouns of other students. The policy states: “Gender non-conforming students shall have the right to be addressed by a requested name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity or expression.” The policy then continues to explain that “this directive does not prohibit inadvertent slips or honest mistakes, but it does apply to an intentional and persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity.”

The policy additionally states that students can participate in gym classes and sports according to their preferred gender identity: “Generally, students should be permitted to participate in gender-segregated recreational gym class activities and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity.”