RISE Charter School mandates that teachers keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents or face termination


On May 12, 2022, the radio station KLIX in Idaho reported that RISE Charter School had a policy for transgender students. The policy is titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.” The policy appears to threaten both students and teachers: “Failure of any School student or School employee to abide by the terms and provisions of this policy will subject such individual to disciplinary action.” The policy explains that the gender identity of students can be kept a secret from parents. The policy states:

In the case of middle/junior high 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 School or in response to a currently enrolled student’s change of gender expression or identity. The goal of the meeting is to develop understanding of that student’s needs with respect to their gender identity.

The policy additionally explains that “students will be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school.” The charter school will also “provide all students the opportunity to participate in any activities segregated by gender in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity consistently asserted at school.” The policy further explains that students will be assigned sleeping arrangements on overnight trips according to their gender identity:

In the case of overnight trips sponsored by the Charter School, students will be assigned sleeping rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school or to a private sleeping room. No student shall be required to sleep in a private room or in an assigned room conflicting with his or her consistently asserted school gender identity.

The policy also mandates that teachers use the preferred pronouns and names of students: “However, in the course of ordinary interactions and communication, School staff shall use the name and pronouns consistently asserted by the student at school, regardless of the student’s legal name and sex.” The policy then threatens teachers who would potentially refuse to use a student’s preferred pronouns by explaining 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.”

The policy reiterates that the gender identity of students should be kept a secret from their parents. The policy explains: “School employees should not disclose a student’s transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals, regardless of setting, including to 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.” Teachers who disclose the gender identity of students to their parents can possibly face “termination.”

The policy also explains that the charter school may provide training for teachers, students, and parents on “transgender issues or gender diversity.”