Santa Fe Public Schools appears to keep gender identity of students hidden from parents; mandates that staff use the preferred pronouns of students


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Santa Fe Public Schools seeking any guidance from the district regarding transgender issues. One document that the district provided to PDE is titled “Gender Support Process Interview.” The first point the district makes in the document is “MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY — THIS IS CRITICAL.” The document then appears to explain that the gender identity of students will be hidden from everyone, including parents:

Do NOT share the student’s transgender status with anyone else. Who needs to know will be determined at the Gender Support Plan meeting. Remember, this is HIGHLY confidential information. This includes NOT discussing the student’s transgender status at School Wellness Team Meetings.

The document does not reference involving parents unless “a student wishes to change their name and/or gender marker in PowerSchool.” This specific change “does require consent from the student’s parent/guardian and their attendance at an initial follow up Gender Support Meeting.”

The district also mandates that staff use the preferred pronouns of students: “Staff must respect and use the student’s preferred name and pronouns, regardless of if it is changed officially in PowerSchool.” Students are also allowed to use the restrooms that match their preferred gender identity.

Another document that PDE received is the Office of Student Wellness document for students who want to change their preferred gender identity. The document asks for a student’s “current legal information” and “preferred information.” This document does appear to require a signature from parents.

The school district also provided PDE with a “Gender Support Plan” that asks for a student’s preferred pronouns and name, preferred restroom and locker room, and confidentiality. This plan does not ask for a parent’s signature.

PDE received two documents from the district promoting “Pride Month.” The first document appears to encourage staff to be activists for LGBTQ issues: “But most importantly, this Pride Month and every month, intentionally fight against the stigmas which continue to perpetuate this cycle of inequities.” The second document is a presentation titled “Trans/Non-Binary Student Policy.” The presentation tells staff that they “MUST use the student’s preferred name and pronouns” and “maintain confidentiality.”