Upper Dublin School District has policy to keep gender identity of students secret from parents


The Upper Dublin School District has a policy in place titled “Gender Expansive and Transgender Students” that was adopted on May 9, 2016. The policy explicitly states that parents do not have to be involved for students to transition to another gender while at school: “However, in general, the prerogative to assert the rights of the transgender and gender non-conforming students belong to the student and do not require additional parental/guardian consent unless the assertion of a right delineated in this guidelines implicate parental/guardian rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or other applicable law.” The policy later adds:

Therefore, school personnel should not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status or gender expansive presentation to others, including the student’s parents/guardians and/or other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.

The policy also mandates that teachers use the preferred pronouns and names of students: “Students have the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their consistently asserted gender identity.” Refusing to use a student’s preferred pronouns or revealing the gender identity of students to their parents are considered violations of this policy:

The District does not condone the intentional and/or persistent refusal to respect a student’s consistently asserted gender identity, or inappropriate release of information regarding a student’s transgender or gender expansive status. Such conduct shall be a violation of this Administrative Regulation and the corresponding Board Policy.

Students are also allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their preferred gender identity. Students are additionally allowed to participate in sports according to their preferred gender identity: “Transgender and gender expansive students shall be permitted to participate in athletic programs/opportunities and physical education classes in a manner that is consistent with their consistently asserted gender identity.”

The policy explains that students are also allowed to participate in overnight field trips according to their gender identity: “In any school activity or other circumstance involving separation by gender (i.e. class discussions, field trips), students will be permitted to participate in accordance with the gender identity they consistently assert at school.”

Teachers will also have training regarding transgender issues: “In order to further a safe and supportive school environment for all students, the District will incorporate education and training about transgender and gender expansive students into their anti-bullying curriculum, student leadership trainings and staff professional development.”