Some school districts in Utah have policies for transgender students that allegedly conceal the transgender status of students from parents when notifying them about bullying or harassment incidents, according to documents reviewed by Fox News Digital, but they had varying responses when asked about their policies.
Parents Defending Education (PDE) submitted public records requests to obtain information regarding transgender student policies and discovered that the language of the policies originated from the Utah School Boards Association (USBA), whose national organization came under fire in 2021 for comparing the actions of parents at school board meetings to "domestic terrorism."
Two Utah school districts, Kane County School District and North Summit School District, have policies that state that "when the parent of a transgender student is given the required notification of a bullying or harassment incident against a transgender student which is motivated by transgender status or gender expression, care should be taken to avoid disclosing the student’s transgender status to the student’s parents if the student has not consented to such disclosure."
North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes told Fox News Digital that they "know the language is problematic based on some new legislation, and we believe there is a typo that makes the policy even more confusing."
"We will wait for new language to the policy from the USBA legal team," he added.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill on school gender identity policies into law last year, which "enacts provisions ensuring a parent's access to information related to a parent's child, including gender identity."
"Parents of a perpetrator of bullying against a transgender student do not have a right to information about the victim’s gender identity status because their right to student information is limited to that about their own student," Kane County School District told Fox News Digital in a statement.
Regarding name and pronouns, both districts also state the "official records of the student shall reflect the student’s legal name and gender, which is the name and gender listed on the student’s birth certificate or as changed by court order." While Kane County states that this information should be "restricted to maintain the confidentiality of a student’s transgender status," North Summit explains the document should be restricted to "to persons other than the student’s parent."
"When classes or intramural activities are segregated by gender, transgender students are to be grouped according to the student’s gender identity," the policy also states.
Kane County School District told Fox News Digital in its statement that it "strives to keep its policies and procedures consistent with the requirements of state and other laws as those change," adding there might be "misunderstandings regarding what the policy provides."
"As required by state law, and as reflected in the ‘Records and References’ section of the policy, parents of transgender students are given information about their student’s transgender status and determine whether any changes are made to their student’s gender designation," the district said. "As the policy states, the limitation on disclosure without the student’s consent applies ‘to individuals other than the student’s parent.’"
The transgender policy at Logan City School District differs slightly, stating "changes to the unofficial record of a student, who is a minor, require the approval of the student’s parent or guardian." The policy added that a "student’s transgender status shall not be disclosed without the student’s consent except as expressly authorized by the superintendent following such legal consultation as the superintendent determines is appropriate."
District staff must also use the preferred pronouns of students, but it is not clear if the district is required to disclose this information to parents.
All three district policies state that when determining which gender-segregated school facilities, including restrooms and locker rooms, should be used by transgender students, school administrators should take into consideration "the desires of the individual transgender student and of the student’s parents as well as the privacy interests of other students."
"In addition to having the transgender student use the facilities corresponding with the gender identity, potential accommodations include use of single user restrooms or changing spaces or using facilities at a different time than other students," the policy states. "If the desired use by the transgender student is in significant conflict with privacy interests of other students, the school administrator should consult with the superintendent and as appropriate with legal counsel."
Kane County told Fox News Digital that this part of the policy "does not establish any particular rule on such use but provides for case-by-case consideration of the situation."
"Kane County School District will continue to adjust local policies to align with legislative changes to state statutes and USBE board rules," the statement added.
Logan City School District, Utah School Boards Association and the National School Board Association did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.