Updated: Jan 8
The new changes make the North Carolina school system the most hostile to parental rights in the country.
By: Sloan Rachmuth
Catherine Truitt handed LGBTQ activists a victory just months after taking office. She ordered her department to stop listing students' legal names on state records and instead use their chosen names. The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) notified school districts in March of 2021 that PowerSchool's student information system would display a student's "preferred name" on school records.
LGBTQ activists had lobbied former Superintendent Mark Johnson to make the exact change. These activists promote the idea that "gender" is socially constructed, not biological, and that there are more than two sexes.
“For most transgender students, being confronted with one’s birth name (referred to commonly in the trans community as one’s ‘dead name’) can trigger feelings of anxiety and dysphoria. When the disclosure is made public, they may fear for their safety as well.”
Mark Johnson refused to change PowerSchool protocols.
Superintendent Truitt not only met Southern Equality's demand last March, now she has gone further in advancing the 'Trans' agenda. Last week, the DPI removed the sex of public school students from official state records in at least three districts.
In Wake County, principals, teachers, and data managers were surprised to learn students' sexes in the PowerSchool system had been erased:
"We all just had to discover changes on our own" explained one teacher. "I reached out to a data manager, and she said the action was directed by the state."
In Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, teachers reported mass confusion during roll call this week because no one could find where to input the sex of students' on the demographic screen in PowerSchool. See the PowerSchool student demographic printout before recent changes were made on the left and compare it to the screen on the right.
One school counselor from Orange County schools signaled his frustration in an email to the school board:
"Gender has been removed completely from PowerSchool by DPI. No announcement was made. Our data manager was running a report and it was just gone.
Without this information we will not be able to balance the male:female ratio in classes. We will not be able to see how many females are enrolled in STEM classes. This is not ok."
The dramatic changes, and total lack of communication from DPI will strain busy teachers who are at their breaking point due to class overcrowding brought on by staffing shortages.
PARENTS ARE LEFT OUT
In combination, these two changes Superintendent Truitt has made will erase the identity of children in the state school record system. It will allow children to choose their own names and sexes without the input or permission of parents.
As a result of erasing children's identities, teachers and counselors can easily groom children into changing their sexes without their parents' knowledge.
In California, New York, and Texas parents have gone public with their allegations that school officials groomed their children to change their identities behind their backs. Parents of a Florida elementary school girl are suing the school after their daughter attempted to commit suicide following the school's efforts to force her to transition to a boy.
Under Truitt's leadership, North Carolina public schools have gone further than even California in promoting the Trans agenda. Golden State lawmakers recently passed legislation that requires public colleges to update records for students who have legally changed their names. As a result of the change, California became the first state to allow college students to change their sex without lawfully being obligated.
Regardless of what you think about California, at least the state requires students to wait until they are 18 to update their sex on their student records. North Carolina does not.
SUPERINTENDENT SAYS PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS ARE WRONG, BLAMES THE FEDS
In an email sent to Catherine Truitt this weekend, we asked why school board members, teachers, principals, and teachers across multiple counties told us the same thing: The DPI suddenly and without notice removed the genders of the students in their schools.
In a statement to Education First Alliance, the Superintendent responded through her press secretary:
This is incorrect. This information was shared with the field, as a message went out to statewide SIS (PowerSchool) managers to provide an update. DPI made this change to be consistent with court rulings and federal legislation. There has been ongoing litigation around Title IX, and we are obligated to comply with all federal laws addressing discrimination.
First, let's treat the Superintendent's claim that school administrators were notified correctly of the change in PowerSchool 'gender' protocols.
DPI's PowerSchool section of its website does not contain notice of upcoming changes. DPI's most recent PowerSchool newsletter dated February 11th also did not mention changes. That's right, the Friday before major changes in PowerSchool were to occur, the NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin to schools said nothing.
And it's hard to comprehend why the DPI did not offer training for school staff on how to navigate workflows without being able to record, or mention, gender in the classroom.
Now let's look at the litigation around Title IX that the Superintendent mentioned. June 2021, the Biden administration issued guidance for schools in light of two recent court rulings that found discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the workplace and schools is a violation of civil rights. From the memo:
the Department has determined that the interpretation of sex discrimination set out by the Supreme Court in Bostock—that discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity—properly guides the Department's interpretation of discrimination “on the basis of sex” under Title IX and leads to the conclusion that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Interpretation: the office of civil rights will consider claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity as sex discrimination, and investigate accordingly.
Perhaps the lawyers at DPI are the first in the country to take proactive measures to prevent lawsuits for "misgendering." If true, why aren't they bothered by the department’s program to teach disabled preschoolers to "de-center their whiteness?" Because that's ripe for a class-action lawsuit.
What about DPI's requirement that every PSU (school) counduct invasive surveys on students which ask ptobing questions about students' gender identity and sexual orientation? Will DPI also ban those? Because they too are are a liability landmine.
It is also possible that the DPI is trying to hide the fact that girls have been raped, beaten, sexually harassed, and then abused by officials at schools across the state at a dizzying rate. These changes come a few weeks before the DPI's deadline to submit Civil Rights data to the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S Department of Education. After all, it's hard to determine if students are targeted for harassment because of their sex when schools cannot determine sex on school records.
Our staff asked the Superintendent to provide a copy of any law or directive that compelled the school to strip student records of their sexes immediately, along with a copy of the notification sent to SIS managers. We did not receive a response from Truitt before publication.
STORY UPDATED: Since publishing this story, Education First Alliance has been hearing from school officials that changes to the PowerSchool system could have been made during the first part of February. We have reached out to the Superintendent for clarification.