A school district in rural Wisconsin has reportedly changed its policy on informing parents when their children come out as transgender in school.
What are the details?
The Federalist reported Thursday that the Oshkosh Area School District in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will no longer require faculty or staff to seek parental consent before affirming a student’s desires to identify as the opposite gender.
In a memo sent to staff on Oct. 19, the district’s director of pupil services, Matthew Kaemmerer, announced that “district staff members are no longer required to seek parental consent prior to honoring student requests to be called by their preferred name and/or pronouns.”
In a subsequent email to parents regarding the change, Kaemmerer explained that the action was taken in effort to hold true to the district’s commitment “to doing what is best for students and fostering a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment for all.”
Without any note from the district regarding different treatment depending on the age of the student, it is assumed that the policy will affect every student in the district — including elementary-age children.
The district official noted that the change “only impacts how a student who is transgender or gender nonconforming is referred to (name and/or pronouns) during school and school activities.”
He added that in order for a student’s name to be changed in the school’s official documentation, proof of a legal name change is still required, but said that “a student’s preferred name can be entered as a ‘nickname’ in Infinite Campus.”
What did one parent say?
At least one parent in the school district is livid about the change and argued that the new policy usurps a parent’s authority over their children.
“This is outrageous,” that parent told the Federalist. “So, if my son starts identifying as a girl at school but hides it from me, I will never know about it?”
The news outlet noted that Oshkosh is not the stereotypical far-left city where one might expect such a progressive policy to be implemented. Rather, the city is a typical Midwest suburban city in a region split somewhat evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
Nevertheless, the language coming out of the city’s school district sounds like something one would hear in a Los Angeles-area district. Take for example this portion of Kaemmerer’s email to parents, in which he speaks of “true selves” and reasons for parents’ understanding.
While we understand that there are varying perspectives related to gender identity, we know that in order to put students first we must acknowledge and support each student’s unique needs. In making this change our goal is to empower students to advocate for themselves, while ensuring that our classrooms and schools are places where all students are able to be their true selves.
TheBlaze has reached out to OASD for further comment about the policy but did not get a response in time for publication.