Should teachers and administrators of Anchorage Public Schools let parents know if their children are using alternative names or alternative pronouns for themselves at school?
Anchorage School Board member Dave Donley thinks parents have a right to know, and that there should be a rule to prevent schools from grooming children without their parents’ knowledge. Other school board members, however, believe some secrets should be kept from parents.
Member Andy Holleman, speaking during a committee meeting on Thursday, said teachers need latitude and should not be required to notify parents. If parents want to know, they can simply ask, he said.
But even then, the school district’s administrative guidelines currently advise teachers and staff that notifying parents of secondary students is not required. School employees have latitude to decide if sharing such information would put the child in danger, and if they decide there is a risk, they can keep it between themselves and the student.
Donley could get no board second for his motion to protect parents and children, and keep guardians from being cut out of gender discussions taking place in the schoolhouse; without a second, the proposal is essentially dead on arrival.