Over 1,000 School Districts Hiding Students’ Gender Identities from Parents

A new report is sounding the alarm on the growing number of schools embracing transgender ideology and keeping parents in the dark. According to Parents Defending Education, at least 1,040 U.S. school districts have adopted policies instructing or encouraging faculty and staff to keep students’ gender identities a secret from parents. Those districts include over 18,000 schools responsible for nearly 11 million students. The vast majority of those school districts (593) are in California.

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand, “I am grateful to Parents Defending Education for their attempt to quantify this problem. It is important to support with evidence what many parents know by instinct or experience: our educational system that is supposed to work with parents will often work around parents instead.” She added, “At this point, parents need to assume they will be deceived by their school if their child makes a gender identity declaration to a teacher or counselor at school.”

Commonly called “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Policies,” such dictums have been the subject of controversy and even protest across the nation, with parental rights organizations such as Moms for Liberty and Mama Grizzly forming to combat the policies and others like them. Speaking on the role of parental rights organizations, Kilgannon commented, “[I]f we have the ability to do so, we must engage with people and systems that view this parental deception as good for children. Obviously, something is very wrong if some people can believe the answer is government first, parents second or never.”

A recent example of the ongoing controversy may be found in New Jersey, where a state judge last week blocked a trio of school districts from enforcing a policy requiring faculty and staff to inform parents of students’ gender identities at school, effectively forcing the school districts to keep parents in the dark. The judge wrote that the policies, “if implemented, will have a disparate impact on transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary youth.” Those policies would require teachers, coaches, and other staff to inform a student’s parents if that student used a bathroom that didn’t correspond to their biological sex, requested different pronouns be used in addressing them, or asking to play on a sports team that didn’t correspond to their biological sex.

The controversy over “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Policies” comes as debate continues on why an increasing number of children are identifying as transgender or non-binary. One study from earlier this year, for example, classified the increase as part of “a socially contagious syndrome,” stating that it’s likely that “common cultural beliefs, values, and preoccupations cause some adolescents (especially female adolescents) to attribute their social problems, feelings, and mental health issues to gender dysphoria. That is, youth[s] … falsely believe that they are transgender…”

While some theorize that standard peer pressure, coupled with the social popularity of transgenderism, is largely responsible for the increase in children identifying as transgender, others — like Mama Grizzly founder Stacy Langton — allege it’s largely rooted in the sexual grooming of children by teachers.

Kilgannon commented, “[T]his is where our own action as parents are so important. We must be present to our children, engaged with them, being the most important person in their lives. … [L]ike everything in life, it starts with ourselves and our relationships to the people God has put in our lives, especially the children we are blessed with and responsible for.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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