A Texas school district is reportedly instructing its teachers not to "out" transgender or non-binary students to their parents.
What are the details?
According to training documents obtained by the Daily Caller, administrators at Round Rock Independent School District are teaching educators to avoid telling parents about their children's sexuality status.
A portion of one of the documents — shared with Walsh Middle School in Williamson County, Texas — states, "DO NOT contact their parents and out them to their families."
An anonymous teacher passed along the documents, which added that teachers should explicitly avoid "misgendering" a student.
"Apologizing profusely can draw unnecessary attention to or cause embarrassment for someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns,” the training document stated and guided teachers to use gender-neutral pronouns such as "they" or "them" whenever possible.
The documents warn that even well-meaning teachers and school counselors can be "dangerous" to the transgender student.
“They can ruin your entire life, get you kicked out of your home by your parents, or make other teachers treat you awfully and make your school experience miserable,” the slide said. “They can even get you killed by outing you without your permission, which they are usually expected to do.”
The district did not respond to the Daily Caller's request for comment in time for publication.
You can view the training documents here.
What was the response to this?
One parent told the outlet that she is appalled by the training.
“It is unacceptable that teachers have been trained to ‘not contact parents’ when parents should be the first people contacted,” the parent said. “Are they teaching children that it is OK to hide from parents? Are they intentionally grooming and prepping my children to be something that they might not want to be in the first place? What else are they hiding?”
Another parent and former high school teacher said that she was "shocked" to learn about the directives.
"Parents know their child best and have the right to know about a decision this consequential,” the parent said. “As a former high school teacher and parent of 4 children in the district, I understand that teachers are put in a difficult position.”
“If they are asked to refer to a student as an identity other than documented in school records, the teacher has the moral obligation and responsibility to communicate with the parents,” the teacher added. “It is troubling to think that teachers are being told to be secretive and circumvent a parent’s input on this weighty issue.”
An anonymous district teacher said that they were highly uncomfortable with the direction, which ran counterintuitive to effective teaching.
“The first time I was asked by a student to refer to themselves by a different gender, a different name and different pronouns I went to my principal and counselor for help, I have never received an email like that,” the unnamed teacher told the outlet. “I asked if I could contact the parents first to make sure that they were aware of this because I would want to know as a parent.”
“They told me no, that the child could get beat and maybe not be accepted by their family,” the teacher recalled. “I was to accept and comply. I cried in my classroom. I cried all the way home. That was two years ago.”