(Headline USA) Virginia’s Loudoun County instructed school officials to keep student gender transitions a secret from parents, according to materials obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Materials obtained from Loudoun County officials reveal that teachers were required to sit in an August training, during which they were informed about districtwide policies regarding the treatment of transgender students.
One of these policies was that teachers and staff should avoid telling parents about their students’ desire to transition to a different gender, since “privacy and confidentiality are critical for transgender students who have family that do not support or affirm their gender identity.”
Just FOIA’d Loudoun County Public Schools staff training makes clear that parents do not have the right to know about their child’s gender identity. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/wJvuoBAI9f
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) April 5, 2022
“The school administrator and unified mental health team member(s) will need to consider the health and safety of the student in situations where students may not want their parents to know about their gender identity, and schools should address this on a case-by-case basis,” the training said.
The training also informed teachers that any school official who “intentionally” refuses to use a student’s chosen pronouns would be subject to discipline.
Loudoun County defended the policies, arguing they are necessary to comply with state law on the treatment of transgender students.
“LCPS’s number one priority is to foster the success of all students and ensure they feel safe, secure, accepted, and ready to learn at school,” the district said.
“The school division will continue to do its due diligence in creating that environment and remaining open and transparent with all LCPS partners, community members, and stakeholders.”
Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, argued that the policy reveals just how little Loudoun County respects parental rights.
“This is extremely concerning for parents because parents need to know what’s going on with their children,” he said.
“If their children are leading one life at school, and one life at home, not only does that impact the mental health of the child, but again, it also puts parents in the dark for what is going on with their children,” he said.