It’s back-to-school season and the Anchorage School District has a form for students who want to be treated as a different sex by the district.
The form allows transgender students to provide both their birth name and their preferred name, whether they want to use the boys’ or girls’ locker room, and which bathroom they want to use.
The form clearly says it will not be shared with anyone except those who legitimately “need to know.” Children can go by a different name at school, in other words, and the workaround the district has found is the “nickname” field in school student management plan forms.
The students using this no-parents-allowed system need to fill out the form anew if they transfer schools, and both the student and principal are to sign the contract. No parents are involved and, according to the contract, are not included in the “need to know” group.
“Parents and others (counselor, nurse, teachers who have a need to know) may be included in this meeting depending on what is needed to develop a plan for the individual. ‘Need to know’ staff includes those individuals who provide a direct service, activity or program to the transgender individual,” the school district’s manual says.
“The plan is developed by the principal or administrator, in consultation with the student or employee, and with others as deemed appropriate by the principal or administrator and approved by the student or employee. Note: If the student has an IEP or 504 Plan, or the employee has an accommodation plan, the provisions in these plans should be taken into consideration in developing a plan for addressing transgender issues,” the guideline says.
In greater detail, the school districts takes pains to cut parents out of the process:
While medical documentation is not required, the school may request such documentation if helpful to develop an appropriate plan for the student or employee.
If the parties are uncertain or disagree regarding elements to be included in the plan, the site administrator should consult with the Title IX Coordinator.
Students may also use the Student Grievance Process to address any civil rights issue, including transgender issues at school.
A copy of the final plan should be maintained in the student’s health file or the employee’s unit file and a copy sent to the Title IX Coordinator.
Mandatory permanent student and employee records will include the legal/birth name and legal/birth gender. However, to the extent that the district is not legally required to use a student’s or employee’s legal/birth name and gender on other school records or documents, the school will use the name and gender preferred by the student or employee. For example, student ID cards are not legal documents so could use the student’s preferred name.
A student’s preferred name can be entered in the student information system using the “nickname” field.
Only upon receipt of a court order or other legal documentation will the school/district change a student’s or employee’s official record to reflect a change in legal/birth name or gender. All such changes will be made pursuant to a court order or through amendment of state or federally issued identification.
Read the Anchorage School District transgender policy here.