A concerned community member contacted Parents Defending Education regarding a presentation on transgender issues provided to staff and teachers at the Round Rock Independent School District in Texas. PDE submitted a public records request to the district and received the presentation for the training. The name of the presentation was “Names and Pronouns: Supporting and Respecting Our LGBTQ+ Students.” When explaining to teachers what to do when students come out to them as transgender, the presentation states: “DO NOT contact their parents and out them to their families.” The presentation was held at Walsh Middle School on January 4, 2022.
The presentation provides what appears to be an alleged quote from a student explaining that a school counselor “outing” a student can lead to being killed:
A stranger, even a school counselor, is very dangerous to [us]. They can ruin your entire life, get you kicked out of your home by your parents, or make other teachers treat you awfully and make your school experience miserable. They can even get you killed by outing you without your permission, which they are usually ‘expected’ to do.
The presentation also links to a video titled “They/Them Pronouns – How do I remember to use them?” The video encourages teachers to use “they/them” pronouns until identifying the preferred pronouns someone wants to use. The presentation then states: “By misgendering or dead-naming someone, it reminds them of their dysphoria. Show respect by using the gender pronouns and name that the person asks you to use.” The presentation then provides an example of using “they/them” pronouns for a single person.
The document additionally encourages teachers to “correct” students for not using the preferred pronouns of others. The idea of a “social contract” is also mentioned. The presentation states:
You should correct students in your class who use the incorrect name or pronouns as well. Explain that your classroom is a place of mutual respect and refer to your social contract.
The presentation then includes “scenarios for practicing pronouns.” The following are the scenarios listed:
- Mya is running for student council, and you need to introduce them before they make their presentation. Share what you would say. (make up things like extracurricular involvement, etc).
- Samantha is a sixth grader in your school. She transitioned during the summer break, and the adjustment has been hard. You are talking with your Assistant Principal on how you have been trying to support Samantha, and your Assistant Principal is asking how they can help.
- Mx. Branson teaches in the classroom next to yours. It’s the first day of school and students keep mistaking your classroom for his. Help redirect the students.
- Kevin is a new student, and is adamant about her pronouns being she/her. The sixth graders in your class are having a hard time accepting this, and Kevin is starting to be teased. You are chatting about the situation in the teachers lounge while eating lunch trying to get support from fellow teachers.
PDE also received a document of other “breakout sessions” held at Walsh Middle School on January 4, 2022. Other topics included “Equitable Grading Practices” and “Equity in Regards to Behavior.”