The Highland Park School District has a policy titled “Transgender Students” that explicitly tells staff to keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy states: “HPPS staff members should not disclose a student’s transgender status to others, including, but not limited to, other students, parents, and/or other staff members, unless they are legally required to, or the student has authorized such disclosure.” The policy then explains to staff how to keep the gender identity of students a secret when talking with parents:
Generally, when contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender student, HPPS staff members should use the student’s legal name and the gender pronoun that corresponds to their assigned sex, unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise.
The district will also work with students to create a gender support plan. When creating this support plan, the policy states: “Whenever a transgender student initiates the planning process, the educator or administrator should ask whether the student’s family is accepting in order to avoid inadvertently putting the student at risk of greater harm by discussing with the student’s family.” Parts of the plan will include “how to refer to the student when communicating with the student’s parents or caregivers, both in writing and verbally” and “how to refer to the student when communicating with the student’s siblings.”
The policy mandates that staff use the preferred pronouns of students: “HPPS schools and staff shall honor and fully comply with requests of student or parent/legal guardian to have the student addressed by a name and pronoun different from those associated with the student’s sex at birth.”
Students are allowed to use their preferred restrooms and locker rooms. Students are also allowed to participate in sports and in overnight field trips according to their preferred gender identity.