Orofino Joint School District superintendent explains that district adopted “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” policy provided by Idaho School Boards Association


The Orofino Joint School District has a policy in place for students titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” that was adopted on August 20, 2018. The district has the policy filed as number 3281. The policy mandates that district staff and teachers keep parents in the dark regarding the gender identity of their children. Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the district and received a response back from the district’s superintendent.

Superintendent Michael Garrett provided PDE with a document of recommended changes of policies from an employee of the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA). The superintendent explained: “The recommendations link included only policy with recommended changes. All others were approved as provided by ISBA model policies.” Policy 3281 was not listed with any recommended changes from the ISBA, appearing to show that the district approved the gender policy as written by the ISBA. The following document is the list of recommended changes that an ISBA member provided to the district.

Superintendent Garrett provided the following document to PDE as the “ISBA Model Policies Draft.”

The school district’s policy uses the ISBA’s template similar to other districts in Idaho. The policy explicitly states that the gender identity of students should be kept a secret from parents. Employees who tell parents about the gender identity of their children can face “possible termination.” The policy states:

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.