Members of the division’s administration, however, described the issue as sensitive due to the long-standing rights of parents to be informed about issues related to their children in schools.
Deputy Superintendent Annie Whitaker told board members that a student asking a teacher to refer to them by certain pronouns usually needs to be passed on to a counselor, officially creating a counseling session that needs to be disclosed to parents.
“We are interpreting something that I don’t think is really the intention of the law,” said Sue Kass, board member. “I think we really need to clarify what this is.”
The recent discussion of adjusting MCPS policy has also raised legal questions because of what the school board lawyer said is the right of parents to contribute to their children’s education.
Superintendent Mark Miear said at one point during the lengthy discussion on Tuesday night that the district can, on a case-by-case basis, limit disclosures of certain issues if it is clear that there is a serious safety issue.
“But it’s a difficult thing,” he said. “What we say [is] we have to be really sure that they won’t be safe. I mean, we have kids who ask us not to share their grades with their parents. Well, we have an obligation to take the notes back to their parents.