Middleton School District mandates that school employees keep gender identity of students secret from parents; threatens teachers with possible termination


Middleton School District has a policy for students in place titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” dated January 11, 2021. The policy explains that the gender identity of students can be kept a secret from parents: “In the case of middle/junior high school students and high school students, the principal or building administrator is encouraged to request a meeting with a transgender student and, if the student grants permission, with their parent/guardian upon the student’s enrollment in the District or in response to a currently enrolled student’s change of gender expression or identity.”

The policy then explicitly explains that school employees should not tell parents about their children’s gender identity. Breaking this rule can result in an employee’s termination. The policy explains:

School employees should not disclose a student’s transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals, regardless of setting, including the other school personnel or (in the case of middle school, junior high school, and high school students) the student’s parents/guardians, unless they have a legitimate need to know or unless the student has authorized such disclosure. Action in violation of such student confidentiality may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination and for certificated personnel, a report to the Professional Standards Commission.

The district also mandates that staff and teachers use the preferred pronouns and names of students: “However, in the course of ordinary school interactions and communication, District staff shall use the name and pronouns consistently asserted by the student at school, regardless of the student’s legal name and sex.” The district then adds that “intentional and persistent refusal to use the name and gender by which the student identifies is a violation of this policy and may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination.”