Bias Watch

Conservatives outraged that schools will call trans students by their names

Transgender flag being waved in a crowd
Photo: Shutterstock

The state of North Carolina took a step to respect transgender youth, and conservatives in the state are apoplectic.

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction announced that report cards in the state will use a student’s chosen name instead of the name that appears on their legal documents as a way to be more inclusive of transgender students.

Related: Republicans renew trans predator myth after judge’s HB2 injunction

They said they would update their PowerSchool student information system to display only a student’s preferred name on report cards and student records, which could reduce the risk of the student being outed. Their legal name will only appear on official state student transcripts.

LGBTQ advocates haled the change in the state that made headlines just five years ago with its H.B. 2, the law that banned trans students from using the correct restrooms.

“It really protects the privacy of transgender students and respects their identity,” Campaign for Southern Equality’s Craig White told the News & Observer. “It respects who they are rather than misgendering or misidentifying them.”

Even though the change doesn’t affect them in any discernable way, Christian conservatives lost it.

“It’s not up to the public school system to change a student’s name or his or her gender identity,” Jim Quick of the NC Values Coalition. “Public schools should not be used as a tool for social engineering.”

He said that the only circumstances in which a trans student should be referred to by their preferred name is if they have “fully transitioned,” a reference to their genitalia.

John Rustin of the NC Family Policy Council called the change in the computer system “a very dramatic change from our public school system.”

“It would enable students who are very impressionable, who are suffering from gender dysphoria to be able to make very important changes on their school records that will follow them for the rest of their life,” he said, adding that he believes that there are “many” trans people who detransition, which is not true.

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