Anna, Texas - Citizens Defending Freedom (CDF) recently investigated concerns surrounding the Anna Independent School District (AISD), focusing on a policy that withheld vital information from parents regarding mental health issues related to transgender students. Triggered by a complaint from a mother alleging a violation of her parental rights, the investigation exposed a significant period during which her child identified and dressed as the opposite biological sex without parental knowledge.
AISD failed to communicate these changes to the parents, neglecting to inform them about the use of preferred pronouns and gender identity naming conventions. This lack of transparency, coupled with the failure to seek parental consent for pronoun usage, name changes and the concealment of mental health issues, has prompted legal action by parents nationwide.
The CDF Investigation revealed that before the 2022 school year, AISD adopted a practice of maintaining two records. The "permanent record" required parental consent while a "non-permanent record" was kept seemingly without parental approval. The "permanent record" includes the student's birth name and assigned sex, while the non-permanent record reflects a name change typically associated with a gender identity transition.
On August 11, 2022, AISD leadership reviewed the 2022 version of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) guidance titled "Legal Issues Related to Transgender Students." Shortly after, on August 16, 2022, AISD implemented the non-permanent record practice for pronouns and names without parental notice or consent. This likely violated federal law under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Texas Education Code on parental rights and access to student records.
The revelation that Anna ISD embraced TASB policy sections on student transgender issues without parental consent is disconcerting, raising concerns among Texas lawmakers. The policy violates parental rights under Texas Education Code Section 26.008(a), granting parents comprehensive information on their child's school activities, and Section 26.004(b), providing access to written records, including counseling and psychological records.
The CDF investigation indicates that school districts, following TASB's guidance on Legal Issues Related to Transgender Students, are undermining parental rights, potentially violating Texas law when intentionally withholding information. CDF is deeply concerned that other school systems might adopt similar practices, prompting a responsibility to alert parents to potential threats to their rights and their children's well-being.
CDF urges all parents to seek clarity on their local Texas school district policies regarding permanent and non-permanent records, especially those related to the concealment of gender identity and other mental health issues that may go undisclosed.
About Citizens Defending Freedom:
Founded in 2021, Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization that strategically operates in counties across America to help citizens defend their faith and freedom, all while fighting for transparency in local government. Currently, Citizens Defending Freedom has official counties in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. The group is rapidly expanding its footprint, and expects to grow into one of America’s largest political nonprofits. Click here to learn more about Citizens Defending Freedom.