Johnston Public School District has policy that explicitly tells staff to keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents; tells counselors to educate students in “diversity” if they disagree with transgender policy


The Johnston Public School District has a policy titled “Students Rights and Responsibilities” that explicitly tells staff to keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents: “School personnel may not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status or gender nonconforming presentation to others, including parents, students, volunteers, and other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has explicitly authorized such disclosure.” The policy then adds:

When contacting the parent or guardian of a student who is transgender or gender nonconforming, school personnel 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.

The policy also mandates district staff to use the preferred pronouns of students: “The intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity (for example, intentionally referring to the student by a name or pronoun that does not correspond to the student’s gender identity) is a violation of this policy.”

Students are additionally allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their preferred gender identity. If other students are not comfortable with this, school administrators and counselors are told to teach the students about diversity: “School administrators and counseling staff are encouraged to work with students to address the discomfort and to foster understanding of diversity, including gender identity, to create a school culture that respects and values all students.”

The policy explains that the school will implement transgender issues into the curriculum taught to students. Staff will also participate in training on transgender issues.