Northwest Arctic Borough School District has policy to keep gender identity of students a secret from parents; explains that transgender policy came from Association of Alaska School Boards


The Northwest Arctic Borough School District has a policy titled “Transgender Students and Employees” that explicitly states that staff can keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy mandates that staff use the preferred names and pronouns of students. The policy adds: “Transgender and gender nonconforming students/employees are encouraged to discuss how they want to be addressed in class, in the workplace, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.” The policy then explains:

When contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender student, school staff 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.

Students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms and participate in sports according to their preferred gender identity. Staff will also participate in training on transgender issues.

Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the district requesting information about where the school district’s transgender policy originated. A representative of the district explained to PDE that the policy “is based on a model policy distributed by the Alaska Association of School Boards.” The district also provided PDE with the model policy.

The school district used a model transgender policy from the AASB.