Press Release

NEW REPORT: More than 3 Million Students Permitted to Change Name, Pronouns Without Parental Consent While Access to OTC Medication Requires Parental Permission

WASHINGTON—The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) released a new report today that finds eight of the nation’s 20 largest school districts allow students to use names and pronouns at school aligned with their gender identity without parental knowledge and consent. Yet these same districts, including New York City Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Chicago Public Schools, require parental permission to dispense over-the-counter medication to students at school.

The report, titled “Pills and Pronouns: School Districts Require Parental Consent for Over-the-Counter Medicine But Not New Names and Pronouns,” cites only three school districts in the top 20 by enrollment that have readily available policies requiring parental notification for a child who wants to go by a different name based on their gender identity during the school day. And, although some may assume this issue is isolated to large cities, DFI found that isn’t the case. In total, the report identifies 25 school districts that have written policies allowing some or all of their students to change how they are addressed at school without parental consent even though such consent is required before the school may dispense medication.

Four of the 25 school districts, Minneapolis Public Schools, D.C. Public Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Linn-Mar Community School District in Iowa, allow students to change their name and pronouns at school once they have reached a certain age or grade level.

“School districts across the country are failing to respect the rights of parents to make decisions for their minor children,” said DFI President and Co-founder Bob Eitel. “If a school employee must get a parent’s permission to administer over-the-counter medicine to a student with a headache or upset stomach, that same employee should also be required to get the parent’s permission to change that student’s pronouns and name. Name changes for children should be made by parents, not school district bureaucrats.”

This latest report from DFI is part of its work to promote accountability and transparency in public education. To read “Pills and Pronouns,” click here.