New York Advises Schools To Keep Students’ Gender Identity Secret

The New York Department of Education (NYSED) issued guidance for that state’s public schools, which includes provisions for keeping students’ gender identities from parents. This includes some cases in which a student begins a gender transition.

The gender identity recommendations were part of NYSED’s report entitled “Creating a Safe, Supportive and Affirming School Environment for Transgender and Gender Expansive Students.”

In particular, the report does not require any specific actions needed to affirm a student’s gender identity.

“School personnel’s acceptance of a student’s asserted gender identity should require no more than a statement from the student expressing their preference,” the report said. “Schools do not need to require permission, letters from professionals or other proof of gender identity.”

According to NYSED, the individual student “is in charge of their gender transition and the school’s role is to provide support.”

According to the report, should a student request to begin a gender transition at school, a member of the school staff “preferably trained in supporting LGBTQ and Gender Expansive students” should meet with the student to discuss openly discussing this new status. 

The report noted that some transgender students have not informed their families about the issue “because of safety concerns or lack of acceptance and may begin their transition at school without parent/guardian knowledge.”

The NYSED report guides the school to assure “that the student’s gender identity is affirmed and that their privacy and confidentiality are safely maintained.”

“Prematurely disclosing a student’s gender identity can have severe consequences for the student,” it says.

The educational guidance also recommends that schools should allow transgender students to participate in activities “consistent with their gender identity.” 

It added that schools should do their best not to engage in activities separated by gender and that employees “should take every effort to avoid utilizing gender stereotypes with all students.”

Last year, a Kansas teacher who alleged that her school district requested her to lie about a student’s gender identity won an almost $100,000 settlement against her former district.