AZ school district denies allegations of hiding student ‘transgender support plan’ from parents

The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) is steadfastly denying that it kept a secret “transgender support plan” hidden from parents and that social worker Leah Stegman has been pushing staff to acquire students’ gender identities in a woke effort to be inclusive.

The Arizona school district issued a statement to Fox News Digital on the matter. That development followed the Arizona Daily Independent obtaining documents that purportedly show Stegman has been advising staff on the plan. She allegedly suggested the use of pronoun surveys be used and that teachers should ask for students’ “preferred” first names when taking attendance. According to the documents, at least two teachers have taken the counselor’s advice.

One of the teachers named Jordan Smith ostensibly gave students a “Preferred Name and Pronoun” survey that asked them to choose their pronouns.

“How would you like me to use your preferred name and pronouns in front of other adults including your parents?” the survey asked students.

An email exchange between Smith and the Chaparral High School principal also indicates that Stegman asked if she would be in trouble for administering the survey. The principal reportedly responded, “You are 100 percent not in trouble.”

Another teacher named Rebekah Snygg-Carrasco reportedly handed out a similar survey that asked, “Does your family know about your preferred name?” and “Does your family know about your preferred pronouns?”

The Arizona Daily Independent is contending that there is evidence that a plan to support transgender students has been implemented, but it has been next to impossible for parents to get any details on it.

“Specifically, documents obtained by the Arizona Daily Independent show that Coronado High School Social Worker Amanda Turner asked Gary Griggs: ‘Where could I find the transgender support plan at?’ Griggs, who is a Scottsdale Online Learning Councilor and Unitown club leader, responded with what appears as confirmation of the plan’s existence, stating ‘my office … either on desk or in the drawer right next to door.’ Griggs also stated ‘I think the watermark ‘proposal’ drops now if you print.’ One additional comment by Griggs that may have pertained to the Scottsdale Unified’s transgender support plan was fully redacted by the district,” the media outlet asserted.

The media outlet noted that “multiple requests for a copy of the transgender support plan have been denied” by the SUSD.

“Public records request R000901-111322 and R000910-120222 were both closed with a status of ‘No Records Exist,'” the Arizona Daily Independent reported.

The school district denied the “transgender support plan,” telling Fox News Digital that the district “provides support to all students who require assistance.”

“However, recent statements and publications regarding how the District addresses the needs of students who are transgender are inaccurate,” SUSD Director of Communications and Marketing Director Kristine Harrington contended.

“We welcome the opportunity to correct the record. The district has no ‘transgender support’ plan that it uses with students to address their needs. In 2019, a parent of a transgender student shared a blank form with the Support Services team. This form was reviewed in a draft form, but the District is not aware of any instance in which the form was implemented, or a written plan developed,” she added.

“There is no district policy regarding a student using a preferred name on their ID Badge and that preferred name has no bearing on their legal educational record. Sometimes a student prefers to go by a nickname or a middle name. There is a continual effort to make sure students are feeling safe and supported on campus. There is a place in our internal student management system where parents can update their student’s record and list a nickname. No student can change their legal name in the student management system without legal process,” Harrington asserted.

“As a school district our core values include inclusion and unity. We have been emphasizing the importance of having a culture of dignity and sense of belonging in our schools. The surveys referenced were a good-faith effort on the part of Chaparral staff to ensure every student is seen, heard, and valued and to create a positive culture on campus where students feel safe and supported to thrive academically,” she stated.

The Arizona Daily Independent summed up the anger of parents over the issue: “When less than 50% of SUSD students graduate proficient in reading and math, parents want to know: Why is so much effort being spent on transgender support plans, pronoun surveys, and promoting the idea that girls can be boys and boys can be girls? Where is the plan to simply educate Scottsdale children?”

 

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