Washington D.C., May 2, 2023 / 11:10 am
Two middle school teachers in California sued their school district April 27 over a policy they argue could force them to deceive parents if the parents’ child identifies as a gender that does not match his or her biological sex.
The policy in question, adopted by the Escondido Union School District (EUSD), refers to a student’s “transgender or gender-nonconforming status” as “private information” that can only be disclosed “with the student’s prior written consent, except when the disclosure is otherwise required by law” or when the district has “compelling evidence” that it would be “necessary to preserve the student’s physical or mental well-being.”
According to a recording of a Feb. 3, 2022, staff meeting cited in the lawsuit, EUSD Director of Integrated Student Supports Tracy Schmidt said that school employees need prior written consent to reveal “a student’s transgender status or gender diverse status to individuals who do not have a legitimate need for the information.” She said that this includes “parents or caretakers.”
The teachers, who are represented by the Thomas More Society, name both the EUSD and the California Board of Education in the lawsuit. The suit is directed against the district for creating the policy and the board is being sued for issuing guidance that the lawsuit argues led to the policy.