CAP-Supported SB 1001: Pronouns; Biological Sex; School Policies
02/27/23 Passed Senate Rules Committee
01/18/23 Passed Senate Education Committee (4-3)
01/11/23 Senate Second Read
01/10/23 Senate First Read
introduced Version Here.
Arizona law affirms a parent’s right to direct their children’s education, health, and well-being. Parents cannot make decisions about sensitive issues they know nothing about, and school staff should not be keeping such information from parents. To comply with current state law and protect parental rights, school employees should not be socially “transitioning” students without their parents’ consent.
SB 1001 prohibits school employees or contractors from knowingly referring to a minor student by a name or pronoun that is contrary to the student’s biological sex without written consent from the child’s parent. It also prohibits schools from forcing staff to call students by a name or pronoun that does not coincide with the student’s biological sex.
Countless stories of school staff secretly helping or encouraging children to “transition” without their parents’ knowledge has sparked outcry from parents of all political persuasions. For example, The New York Times profiled self-described liberal parents who said they felt “stabbed in the back” by the school that had kept their child’s social transitioning a secret.[i]
Schools cite widespread medical opinion as reason to affirm student transition, but Arizona Republic columnist, Phil Boas in an opinion piece supporting SB 1001, noted the conflicting and evolving expert advice on how to handle minors who want to “transition,” many of whom have stepped back from the aggressive affirmation treatment in support of a wait and watch approach.[ii]
California has taken it a step further. Not only do schools socially transition children without parental knowledge, but the state takes temporary custody of kids from other states so they can get irreversible gender-related surgeries. The subversion of parental rights continues on an alarming trajectory.
In addition, school staff members have been fired for remaining faithful to their conscience or religious beliefs and declining to call students by a pronoun other than the one coinciding with their biological sex.[iii] These cases go straight to the heart of the First Amendment: Governments should not compel speech, especially religious speech.
What the Bill Does
SB 1001 ensures the rights of both parents and teachers or other school staff. The bill prohibits a school district or charter employee or independent contractor to address a minor student with a pronoun that is inconsistent with his or her biological sex, or a name not on the student’s official school records without written parental permission. Employees can use nicknames consistent with the student’s name (e.g., Bob for Robert).
SB 1001 also prohibits a school district or charter school from forcing staff to use a student’s pronoun or name that is inconsistent with the student’s biological sex.
Some states have filed similar bills to ensure parents have all the information needed to care for their children and direct their upbringing. Other states actually ensure parents are not informed when minor students socially “transition” if the student objects.[iv]
Indiana filed a bill requiring school officials to notify parents when a student indicates he or she wants to be called by a pronoun or name that is inconsistent with their biological sex, or who has indicated gender identity concerns. The bill also has other relevant prohibitions.[v]
Florida and North Dakota have similar bills, though North Dakota’s bill is in question because of unrelated prohibitions.[vi]
- School staff should not be socially transitioning children without their parents’ consent.
- California started socially transitioning children without parental consent; now the state takes temporary custody of children from other states so the kids can get irreversible gender-related surgery without their parents’ consent. Arizona should stand in contrast and fully support parents’ rights.
- Teachers and others working in education should not be forced to violate their conscience or religious rights by compelled speech, and risk losing their jobs. Long held, scientific views of sex and humanity are reasonable and good and should not cost teachers their livelihood.
Arizona law affirms a parent’s right to direct the education, health, and well-being of their children. School districts should honor the law by obtaining parental consent if a student wants to be called by a name or pronoun inconsistent with his or her biological sex. Likewise, school districts should not compel the speech of teachers and other school staff who cannot, in good conscience, call a student by a name or pronoun that is inconsistent with their biological sex.
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