Rutherford Public Schools has a policy in place titled “Transgender Students” that is dated as being last updated in March 2019. The policy explicitly states that parents do not need to be notified of their children transitioning to another gender while at school: “The school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity; parental consent is not required.” The policy continues to state that “there is no affirmative duty for any school district staff member to notify a student’s parent of the student’s gender identity or expression.”
If parents disagree with the school district allowing their children to pick their preferred pronouns or names, the policy explains that an attorney may be brought in to determine the “civil rights” of students. The policy then explicitly tells teachers and staff to ignore parents regarding their children’s preferred gender identities:
There may be instances where a parent of a minor student disagrees with the student regarding the name and pronoun to be used at school and in the student’s education records. In the event a parent objects to the minor student’s name change request, the Superintendent or designee should consult the Board Attorney regarding the minor student’s civil rights and protections under the NJLAD. School staff members should continue to refer to the student in accordance with the student’s chosen name and pronoun at school and may consider providing resource information regarding family counseling and support services outside of the school district.
The policy later adds: “The Principal or designee should have an open, but confidential discussion with the student to ascertain the student’s preference on matters such as chosen name, chosen pronoun to use, and parental communications.”
The policy also allows students to use their preferred restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities.