On July 21, 2022, the Kimberly School District’s Board of Education held a meeting and performed the first reading of a policy titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Policy.” The policy explains that the school district will create a plan for students who identify as transgender: “It shall be the intention of the school to work individually with the student/family of the student to develop an individual plan that meets the privacy considerations for the student.” The policy allows students to use their preferred restrooms and locker rooms regardless of their biological sex and mandates that teachers keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The following guidelines are provided:
- The district aims to support transgender and gender nonconforming students by providing reasonable accommodations to transgender and gender nonconforming students.
- A transgender or gender nonconforming student may not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.
- An alternative arrangement for a transgender or gender nonconforming student should be provided in a way that protects the student’s ability to keep their transgender status private.
- An accommodation regarding the use of facilities, including restrooms and locker rooms by students, requires that the principal or designated trained staff consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to:
- the student’s preference;
- the student’s privacy;
- the effects on the social integration of the transgender or gender nonconforming student; and
- the desired result of minimizing stigmatization of the student.
- Any parent/guardian or student may express a need or desire for increased privacy in restroom or locker room usage. The principal should provide a student who requests additional privacy with reasonable alternative arrangements. Reasonable alternative arrangements may include:
- the use of a private area to change;
- the installation of privacy stalls or curtains, if appropriate and feasible;
- the implementation of a separate changing schedule; or
- the use of a single stall restroom.
The policy further explains that “accommodations” on overnight trips “will be provided in a manner that respects the student’s desired level of confidentiality.” Parents with transgender students in elementary and middle school can also have a student’s preferred pronouns and name changed on “school yearbooks, ID cards, rosters, and on daily assignments.” School staff must additionally address these students by their “preferred name and consistent with preferred pronouns.”
The policy mandates that school staff and teachers keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy explains: “No staff should disclose a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation to anyone, including parents, absent a ‘compelling interest’ that requires such disclosure.” The school district also threatens to terminate teachers who disagree and refuse to follow the policy’s rules:
Failure of any District employee to abide by the terms and provisions of this policy may subject such individual to disciplinary action up to and including termination and for certificated personnel, a report to the Professional Standards Commission.