Weber School District has guidance to keep gender identity of students hidden from parents


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the Weber School District seeking any transgender guidance used for students. The district provided PDE with several resources explicitly stating that the gender identity of students can be hidden from parents.

One resource is a document titled “Responding to Transgender Students’ Requests.” One question on this document asks: “Are we legally obligated to tell parents about a student’s transgender status?” The response is then: “Legally, No.” The document then asks: “If a student asks me to please use the student’s preferred name and/or pronoun, do I have to have parent consent or do I need to tell parents before doing so?” The answer is: “No. Nothing in the law requires consent from a parent prior to using a preferred name or pronoun when addressing a student.”

Another resource is a presentation labeled as “Practices and Procedures” and dated August 2022. The presentation provides the following to teachers: “Do I have to disclose this to parents? Legally… NO.” The exception is if “the student is in danger.” However, the presentation then states: “A student’s disclosure of their preferred pronoun alone does not rise to the level of a student being in danger.”

Another document dealing with transgender issues asks: “If student tells me to please use the student’s preferred name and/or pronoun, do I have to disclose* to parents?” The answer provided is: “No. Let the administrator handle this.” This document also states that “Confidentiality is HUGE” and tells teachers to “make sure you smile and be supportive.”

The school district also provided PDE with several other documents used as guidance on transgender issues, such as a document titled “Talking Points for Administrators Regarding Transgender Students.”

PDE submitted a second public records request to the school district asking where the language of the “Talking Points for Administrators Regarding Transgender Students” originated. The district explained to PDE that the document “was created by our Weber School District’s General Counsel in 2017.” The district then explained:

The first section of this document provides a history of the legal discussions in courts and within the Department of Education and the Department of Justice regarding transgender students and Title IX, through the time of the document’s creation. The second section titled, “What to Say to the Public”, are suggestions for administrators written by the General Counsel for the purpose of helping them articulate the legal history (the first section) and the District’s position in 2017. None of the information provided in this document came from model templates; they came from the District’s General Counsel interpretation of the relevant statute, cases, and the guidance from the Department of Education and Justice.