Public school districts in Idaho are being instructed to implement policies that would prevent employees from revealing a student’s name or gender transitions to parents without consent, Fox News exclusively reported.
The Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) has directed public school districts in the state to prevent employees from disclosing student requests to change their names and gender to parents.
The Buhl, Challis, Marsh Valley, Middleton, and Wilder school districts have”Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” policies that state that employees who violate a student’s confidentiality on LGBTQ issues risk being demoted or even fired.
One school district policy reads:
School employees should not disclose a student’s transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals, regardless of setting, including the other school personnel or (in the case of middle school, junior high school, and high school students) the student’s parents/guardians, unless they have a legitimate need to know or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.
It goes on to explain potential consequences for employees who violate the policy, saying, “Action in violation of such student confidentiality may subject an employee to discipline, up to and including possible termination and for certificated personnel, a report to the Professional Standards Commission.”
It also explains, “When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender student, school personnel should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth unless the student or parent/guardian has specified otherwise.”
Nicole Neily, the President of Parents Defending Education, said in a statement that it’s “time for local school districts to take a stand against these unaccountable bureaucracies and cut off the spigot.”
Crucially, she also noted:
This is further proof that living in a ‘red’ state doesn’t protect families from these issues in school – and that the traditional power brokers in education policy who families have trusted for many years, like school board associations, are as much a part of the problem as well-known activist groups.
The Payette School District fought back against the guidance in December 2021, with one employee telling a member of the ISBA “Our board refuses to remove parent rights for a minor.” The school district eventually adopted a variation of the policy, which said that employees “should not engage in discussions relating to a student’s transgender status or sexual orientation to other individuals, regardless of setting, including students or school personnel, unless they have a legitimate educational or safety need to know or unless the student/family has authorized such disclosure.”