Sitka School District has policy to keep gender identity of students a secret from parents; explains that transgender policy came from Association of Alaska School Boards


The Sitka School District has a policy titled “Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Students” that explicitly states that staff can keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. The policy mandates that staff use the preferred names and pronouns of students. The policy adds: “Transgender and gender nonconforming students are encouraged to discuss how they want to be addressed in class, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.” The policy then explains:

When contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender student, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth, unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise.

Students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms and participate in sports according to their preferred gender identity. Staff will also participate in training on transgender issues.

Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the district requesting information about where the school district’s transgender policy originated. A representative of the district explained that the policy was adopted in 2016 and revised in 2021. This representative also explained that the policy was adopted from the Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB). The district provided PDE with the AASB’s model policy.

The school district used a model transgender policy from the AASB.