David Boyle: Anchorage schools push parents to back of the bus on transgender transparency

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By DAVID BOYLE

At a recent Anchorage School District Governance Committee meeting, ASD School Board member Dave Donley proposed a new and more transparent policy defining a parent’s role in transgender and gender nonconforming students. His goal was to take mere guidelines and convert them into policy on which all board members would have to vote.

Currently, these administrative guidelines are “mere suggestions” for the school staff to follow.

Policies, on the other hand, are a mandate and must be followed by the school staff.

Here is how the new policy would read: “If a student or parent requests transition(s) regarding gender, legal name, or pronoun during the school year, the principal will hold a meeting with the student and parent(s) to discuss their desires and concerns.”

Donley wanted to empower parents and affirm their rights to parent their kids.

Now, the district has Administrative Guidelines which leave the parents totally out of the decision making process on gender transitioning, pronoun usage, gender identification and bathroom usage. Read that set of guidelines here.

Donley’s proposed new policy also provides a means for a student who would not have a parent’s support to appeal to the superintendent and the board.

But member Andy Holleman, who is a former president of the Anchorage teachers’ union, had a problem with Donley’s new policy.  He said, “It would be an incredibly awkward situation” for students to use the appeal process.

Board President Margo Bellamy noted that these are administrative guidelines only, not policy. Once again, they appear to be mere suggestions, not mandated policy. 

Bellamy then asked if there were any challenges from parents on these guidelines.  

This is a “Catch-22” question. How could parents challenge the guidelines when their student’s transition/pronoun usage is kept secret from them?

Here is the form for “gender issues”.  Note that parents are found nowhere on the document:

Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt stated that he was unaware of any widespread issues, and he does not intend to make any changes to the administrative guidelines until he hears from the U.S. Department of Education.  Bryantt is kicking this can down the road with no decision — just like the budget crisis.

It appears the federal government has more power over our students than students’ own parents. 

It does seem odd that the school board could put this guidance in place without the federal government involvement and now the district cannot change the guidance until it hears from the federal government, per Superintendent Bryantt.

The school staff then stated that only parents can put information into the “system.”  Per the staff, a parent has to put the preferred pronouns into the system; a student cannot do that. 

That contradicts the administrative guidelines, which state that a parent does not have to sign off on the gender transition or pronoun usage of a student.

Bellamy also said that these guidelines were put into place in 2016, when she was in charge of the Equity office and that the district followed guidance from the federal government.

However, it looks like the guidance actually came from the National Education Association and other liberal organizations such as the ACLU.  Here is a link to the NEA “Legal Guidance on Transgender Student Rights.”

Note that Bellamy did have the date right — the NEA guidance is dated 2016.

Superintendent Bryantt could not provide the federal guidance that he alluded to. He also did not want to put the guidelines into policy until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.  

Board Vice Chairman Carl Jacobs, who is up for reelection this spring, wanted to table the question until the federal government rules.  He seems to want to hide behind this “rock” prior to the election so he is not accountable for not supporting parents’ rights.

The board does not want to put these Donley guidelines into policy because then it would have to vote on the policy and be held accountable by the public.

The board can hide behind this “rock” and not be answerable to the public when it is election time.

Those board members up for reelection and hiding behind the gender transition/pronoun usage/gender identity “rock” are Pat Higgins, Carl Jacobs, and Dora Wilson.

Parents should demand that board members take a stand on the various gender identity issues, especially those members who are up for reelection.

Why does a school board believe it should hide secrets from parents?

By hiding secrets from parents, schools are putting a wedge between parents and their children.  With more and more of these government wedges, the nuclear family is on the way to destruction.

Until the administrative guidelines are put into policy, the ASD staff should treat these guidelines as “mere suggestions” to be disregarded.  

The governance committee voted 2-to-1 to not put the guidelines into policy.

But you have a vote in the next election as well and board members are very aware of that.

David Boyle is the education writer for Must Read Alaska. 

15 COMMENTS

  1. If the school can go behind a parents to help transition their child then the school should be responsible for the child’s health insurance until that child turns of legal age.

    • One would think that their time would be spent on a new budget and downsizing but instead, they’re out trying to control the parents and kids personal lives. The schools are there to teach the basics for the working world

    • Nope. Disagree totally.
      I do not want my tax dollars going to supporting transgender children. In fact, I do not want my insurance company to support transgender treatments at all for children, and only for adults after years of therapy.
      .
      No taxpayer dollars should be spent by the school district for anything that is not directly related to education.

  2. If the school can go behind a parents to help transition their child then the school should be responsible for the child’s health insurance until that child turns of legal age.

  3. Anchorage needs to recall Board President Margo Bellamy. This vile individual has caused more harm to Anchorage schools and our children than anyone. She’s the head of the snake. Wake up parents and protect your children.

  4. It won’t be long before our schools resemble clown 🤡 schools😳😳
    Mark my words. We are already well on our way.

    • I think if the child wants to take meth or heroin during school hours, that is also something this school board should keep parents from knowing.
      If the logic is “parents might disown the child, or prevent them from transition, or suppress them in some way.” That logic applies to illegal drug use or any other activity that a parent would dislike.
      .
      Com’t school board. Step up and create safe zones for drug use, distribute needles. I dare you.

  5. From the article: “It appears the federal government has more power over our students than students’ own parents.”
    Not if you take them out of public schools.
    The parents that recognize this particular problem should also be the ones savvy enough to remove their children from public “education” control for a great many other reasons as well. When there are so many things wrong with public education is merely remedying this one thing (assuming you even can) going to be enough of an improvement? Plugging one hole in a sinking ship with multiple holes doesn’t really do much good. I’m not saying don’t fight this; it HAS to be fought. But in the meantime take your kids out of the line of fire altogether until enough of the battles have been won.

  6. Sweet Margo Bellamy has pushed critical race theory for years at asd. she denies it but does it any way under a different title. Margo is a smooth LIAR.
    Margo lives under a rock and parents do not pay attention to how crooked she is along with the rest of the board with exception of Dave Donley, the only square shooter in the group.
    Margo takes her lead from the Teachers Union and follows their demands. 100%

  7. The left highly values tremulousness in men and will go to any length to achieve this increase in tremulousness which stimulates them. I believe It is particularly mentally ill. It is a travesty and a usurpation of the public’s right to available public education. It is an additional ruination of this nation. I believe all children should be removed from ASD due to the extremely harmful nature of the insipids. Elon Musk created his own schools for his children.

  8. Reminder:
    The leftists are collectivists. The goal is to make your relationship with the All-Powerful State your first and most important relationship. All other relationships should be secondary or destroyed. Religion and marriage are already on the ropes. They are actively trying to destroy sports (which leads to a strong bond between teammates). The love of a parent for a child is damned near impossible to break, but getting a child to look toward another adult as a substitute parent… easier.
    .
    When a leftist school board starts pushing to get the parents removed, or have their role in the child’s education minimized, it is nothing but a nail in the coffin of the family.
    .
    Parents across the board need to start taking more interest in what their children do in school, and they need to start paying attention to what the leftists on the school board are doing as well.

  9. Yet another example of a complete absence of accountability from our school board to parents..Cant wait to see loser “boys”dominating traditionally girls sports.. rewriting track and field records and physically dominating volleyball and basketball games.. maybe then we will wake up?? We must demand accountability from our schools! Already in the face of declining enrollments they and their hopelessly greedy unions are holding up the legislature for MORE money!

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