Kansas Attorney General Challenges School Districts Over Concealing Student Gender Identities from Parents

By Trish Svoboda

Attorney General Kris Kobach announced that several Kansas school districts allow employees to conceal from parents a student’s use of different names or pronouns at school. Kobach challenged six districts’ policies that permit or require staff to hide a student’s “transgender” or “gender non-conforming” status from parents.

He argued that these policies violate parental rights and asked if the districts consulted parents before adopting them.

“A child changing his or her gender identity has major long-term medical and psychological ramifications,” Kobach said. “Parents should know, and have an opportunity to be involved in, such an important aspect of their well-being.”

Two districts immediately rescinded or revised their policies, but four others, including Kansas City, Olathe, Shawnee Mission, and Topeka, defended their policies.

Despite attempts to schedule a meeting, Olathe has not met with the Attorney General’s Office. Kobach also sent a letter to the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) regarding their potential involvement in promoting such policies, but KASB neither confirmed nor denied its involvement. Kobach’s letters to the KASB and four holdout districts can be found here.

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