Penn-Delco School District introduces draft policy that will keep gender identity of students a secret from their parents


At a board meeting in October 2023, the Penn-Delco School District created a draft of a policy titled “Non-Discrimination/Gender Preference Accommodations” that is not yet adopted. The draft policy explicitly states that the gender identity of students can be kept a secret from their parents due to a possible “lack of acceptance”:

Some transgender students are not openly so at home for reasons such as safety concerns or lack of acceptance. Penn-Delco’s usual practice is to try to involve parents in any student issues of which it becomes aware. Penn-Delco will continue to do so with the family with respect to a student’s transgender status, unless and until the student’s safety and welfare appear to the district be compromised.

The draft policy also appears to mandate district staff to use the preferred pronouns and names of students and this must be done even without parental permission: “Students with a plan shall be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity without obtaining a court order, changing their official records, or obtaining parent/legal guardian permission regardless of whether the official records modification process has been followed.” The draft policy later adds regarding keeping secrets from parents:

If school personnel are unsure how a student wants to be addressed in communications to the home or in conferences with parents/legal guardians, they may privately ask the student or ask the school counselor to view the plan.

Students who identify as transgender also appear to have access to their preferred restrooms: “Transgender students shall have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity if they go through the process outlined in this AR and are approved for such bathroom use by the administration.” This also applies to using locker rooms.