Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the Shawnee Mission School District requesting any policies and guidance related to gender identity. PDE received a document from the district titled “Transgender Practices & FAQ.” The guidance document often talks about working with parents on how to handle situations with students. However, the guidance also insinuates that parents can be left in the dark regarding their children transitioning to another gender.
One section of the guidance is labeled “Flowchart for gender-specific name/pronoun change requests.” When a student comes out as transgender to a teacher, the guidance in this section has teachers tell students “thank you for letting me know” and ask “is there anything you need right now.” The teacher will tell the principal about the situation. The principal will then meet “with the student to share support and gauge the level of family involvement.” The guidance appears to explain that parents may not necessarily need to be involved.
The policy also explains that both teachers and students must use the preferred pronouns of other students: “School staff and peers are expected to respect a student’s name and pronouns once they have been made aware.” Students are also allowed to use the restrooms that match their preferred gender identity.