School officials instruct teachers to break Federal law to hide student information from parents.
By: Sloan Rachmuth
Orange County schools, on the outskirts of Chapel Hill, has instituted a "Gender Support Plan" to create an internal protocol for students wishing to change their sex. District officials are asking teachers to make an inventory of what students do at home and at school so they can devise a personalized gender plan. As part of the process, teachers and others will be instructed on how to interact with the specific transgender student and a "go-to person" will be designated for extra support on campus.
Several Orange County teachers contacted Education First Alliance about the district's expectation for teachers not to put Gender Support Plans in writing if they suspect families are unaware or unwilling to support a student's desire to change gender. The document states that, since parents can legally access written school records, a child's transition will not be confidential.
According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents can inspect their child's school records, and can ask administrators to remove information they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
Teachers will create a protocol for changing the identity of transgender students at school under the Plan which asks:
"Name to be used when referring to the student?"
"Who will be the point person for ensuring these adjustments are made and communicated as needed?"
"How will instances be handled in which the incorrect name or pronoun are used by staff members or students?"
Teachers will then determine if there are any special lessons, events, projects, or "social justice units" that should be incorporated into the school's curriculum to accommodate the transgendered student.
Other guidance includes devising a personal bathroom usage policy and examining the transgender students' social dynamics with staff and families. Under the plan, transgender students will also receive special accommodations when taking part in extracurricular activities and sports on campus.
Calls to Orange County Schools Administrators have not been returned.