Somerset Hills School District has policy to keep parents in the dark regarding their children’s gender identity; threatens to bring in attorney against parents who disagree with their children’s gender identity


The Somerset Hills School District has a policy in place titled “Transgender Students” that explicitly states parents do not need to be involved regarding the gender identity of their children. The policy explains:

The school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity; parental consent is not required. A student need not meet any threshold diagnosis or treatment requirements to have his or her gender identity recognized and respected by the school district, school, or school staff members. In addition, a legal or court-ordered name change is not required. 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 their children’s gender identity, the policy states that the district will involve an attorney against the parents. School staff are also told to ignore parents and to continue using the preferred pronouns and names of students:

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 also states that district staff will be trained on transgender issues: “The Superintendent or designee should ensure training is provided to school staff members on sensitivity and respect towards transgender students.” Students can also use their preferred restrooms: “The school district shall allow a transgender student to use a restroom or locker room based on the student’s gender identity.”