School District Forbids Divulging Students’ Private Lives To Parents

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After a Texas school district forbid teachers from informing parents about their own children’s “private lives,” parents and teachers decided to fight back. Sadly, this wasn’t a first. The school district was already under fire for many of its controversial policies.

Round Rock Independent School District
Round Rock Independent School District meeting (Credit: YouTube)

During a training session for teachers at Walsh Middle School in Texas, one educator was flabbergasted after she was instructed to not tell parents if a student tells them they identify as “transgender or non-binary,” according to the Daily Caller.

Administrators at Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) are teaching educators to avoid telling parents about their children’s sexuality. A portion of one of the documents — shared with Walsh Middle School in Williamson County, Texas — states, “DO NOT contact their parents and out them to their families,” The Blaze reported. 

The directive from Round Rock Independent School District (Credit: Anonymous Teacher)

An anonymous teacher fought back by passing along the documents which explicitly forbid contacting parents. The instructions also added that teachers should avoid “misgendering” a student. “Apologizing profusely can draw unnecessary attention to or cause embarrassment for someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns,” a training document also said. Practice using “‘they’ to refer to a single person, or try to refer to people with names only.”

The documents also warn that even well-meaning teachers and school counselors can be “dangerous” to transgender students. “They can ruin your entire life, get you kicked out of your home by your parents, or make other teachers treat you awfully and make your school experience miserable,” the slide said. “They can even get you killed by outing you without your permission, which they are usually expected to do.”

Parent addresses the Round Rock Independent School board (Credit: YouTube)

Another RRISD teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous, said they didn’t agree with the training and felt uncomfortable keeping parents out of the loop when it comes to their child. “The first time I was asked by a student to refer to themselves by a different gender, a different name and different pronouns I went to my principal and counselor for help, I have never received an email like that,” she told the Daily Caller.

“I asked if I could contact the parents first to make sure that they were aware of this because I would want to know as a parent,” the anonymous educator added. “They told me no, that the child could get beat and maybe not be accepted by their family,” she recalled. “I was to accept and comply. I cried in my classroom. I cried all the way home. That was two years ago.”

Round Rock Independent School District
Parents protesting outside Round Rock Independent School District board meeting (Credit: YouTube)

Kieu Trang, a mother with children attending school in RRISD, was also appalled and scared. Trang grew up in Vietnam and said what she is seeing in schools across the nation reminds her of her time living under communist rule and the stories her parents have told her. “It is unacceptable that teachers have been trained to ‘not contact parents’ when parents should be the first people contacted,” Trang said. “Are they teaching children that it is OK to hide from parents? Are they intentionally grooming and prepping my children to be something that they might not want to be in the first place? What else are they hiding?”

Christie Slape is another parent who is outraged at the school district’s policy of withholding information from parents. “Parents know their child best and have the right to know about a decision this consequential,” she said. “As a former high school teacher and parent of four children in the district, I understand that teachers are put in a difficult position.”

Round Rock Independent School District
Diane Weston, a conservative member of the RRISD school board, leaves a board meeting under protest (Credit: YouTube)

“If they are asked to refer to a student as an identity other than documented in school records, the teacher has the moral obligation and responsibility to communicate with the parents,” Slape added. “It is troubling to think that teachers are being told to be secretive and circumvent a parent’s input on this weighty issue.”

Another RRISD parent, Eric Norbut, thinks most teachers and administrators in the district still teach traditional family values, although he is “very concerned about an emerging mantra that teachers know better than parents” when it comes to educating their kids. “I firmly believe that parents possess the duty to educate their children, even if we may choose to delegate portions of that duty to schools,” he said. “This training is the latest example of what I believe is a concerted effort to marginalize parents in their role of raising and guiding their children.”