Stanly school board sets new policy, procedure regarding students’ gender pronouns

Published 4:15 pm Friday, June 28, 2024

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A Stanly County Schools policy regarding the gender pronouns of students was passed at the June meeting of the board of education.

With a 6-1 vote, the board approved updates to its policy regarding parental notification of a student who wishes to change gender pronouns or identification.

The new policy states parents will be notified of “changes in services or monitoring related to their children’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being… In addition, the principal or designee shall notify parents before any changes are made to the names or pronouns used for their children in school records or by school personnel.”

Dustin Lisk, who voted against the policy update, said the notification to parents is required by North Carolina general statute. He said the board “is being forced to vote on” the policy additions.

Lisk said the previous policy regarding student questionnaires did not include parental notification, adding the changes were “a step up in the right direction” in parents’ rights.

Board Chair Carla Poplin said school systems could amend local procedures on notifications but are not allowed to “change the verbiage from the general statute.”

Board member Glenda Gibson said as explained by Lynn Plummer, SCS chief academic officer, “we have procedures in place, were anything to arise.” She said principals have copies of the state Parents’ Bill of Rights and other documents to address the issue.

Poplin said principals now have “a series of meetings and discussions” as procedure should a child choose to change gender pronouns.

Also according to the new policy, “instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality will not be included in the curriculum provided in kindergarten through fourth grade, regardless of whether the information is provided by school personnel or third parties.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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