Wrangell Public 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 Wrangell Public School District has a policy titled “Transgender Students and Employees” 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/employees are encouraged to discuss how they want to be addressed in class, in the workplace, 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. The superintendent explained to PDE that the policy came from the Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB). He continued to explain that the policy is very similar to a policy created by the Anchorage School District:

I was not in this district when the adoption occurred but our AR is very much the same (in many cases exactly the same) as the Anchorage School District’s Office of Equity and Compliance’s Administrative Regulations on the topic. I would expect that most district have used a similar AR and adapted to the district. We review policy and AR on a regular schedule. Last reviewed in 2021.

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