OREGON: TRANSGENDER LESSONS AND POLICIES K-5
Teachers are learning their new guidelines and policies for teaching K-5 health. The following are answers to their questions.
"When should we ask students their pronouns?"
Gender identity and expression is introduced at the 3rd grade level; however, we also recognize the intersectionality of the Health curriculum and our District equity, SEL and other bodies of work that push us toward inclusivity in every classroom/building. All of this to say, there is not a specific time that we recommend asking students their pronouns and we encourage you to work with your building teams to establish this in ways that align with your current building culture. *If a student asks to be identified by pronouns other than those which align with their sex assigned at birth, we must honor that request.
'What we should do when a student asks us to call them by a preferred name (not legal name) and/or who identifies as a different gender than their sex assigned at birth (using a pronoun such as he, she, them, etc that may not match sex assigned at birth)? "
Student services has given the following guidance: Civil Rights Guidance referred to on the Oregon Gov. website. This helpful document indicates that we must honor what a student requests to be identified as (name, preferred pronoun, preferred gender), without parent permission. If we do not honor their identity and request within a classroom and school, we may face a civil rights (discrimination) claim and lawsuit. TTSD's expectation is that we honor the students request at all times as we continue to sponsor safe, supportive, and inclusive school environments for all students.
"What happens if a parents disagrees with a student’s transgender status?"
Schools are in a challenging position when a parent disagrees with a student’s decisions relating to their gender identity. The school must respect the right of the parents to raise their child, but must also protect the student at school and prevent discrimination and bullying. In TTSD we will honor the student's request and continue to work with the student to feel comfortable talking to their family. Health (including mental health) and safety of the student is a higher priority than staff informing the family about anything related to gender identity against the child's wishes.
Tigard Tualatin K-5 CSE Questions, 2022