DENVER, Colorado (PNN) - September 5, 2023 - A criminal union representing teachers in a suburban county near Denver has advised teachers how to destroy the evidence when they survey students about their gender identity and preferred pronouns, which is illegal under state law.
"If you do a questionnaire, please make it a paper and pencil activity - any digital records are more permanent and may be requested under federal law," the Jefferson County Education Association told teachers in an email.
Parents raised the issue about teachers breaking state and federal laws and their union is helping them get away with it.
The school district claims it's not clear that such surveys are banned, but several lawsuits are pending on the issue, so administrators told teachers, "Just don't go there," the report said.
The union went much further, telling teachers to "make your notations about students and not hold on to the documents."
The report explains parent Denice Crawford says she was encouraged when the district informed employees that "state and federal law prohibits mandatory surveys that ask (children) about protected information and even voluntary surveys are illegal unless parents can opt out," the report explained.
Then her son brought one such survey home.
"Deceived, lied to, taken advantage of," she charged.
An official with Parents with Jeffco Kids First says multiple teachers took such surveys after their union told them how to hide the evidence.
"The leadership actually provided an avenue to get around the law and basically saying it was OK," explained school board member Susan Miller.
Those schemes endanger teachers' jobs, she said, because those caught violating the law can lose their licenses.
Furthermore, it creates an unstable school atmosphere, because, Crawford said, "I don't feel I can trust the teachers," she said.
The district, in fact, advised teachers, "Please, no preferred pronoun/gender identity questionnaire. Do not promise to keep information from parents."
Union official Brooke Williams refused to explain why she told teachers to get rid of survey evidence.
In a prepared statement, she claimed, students "feel safe, respected and validated" when they can share their "preferred pronouns" with whom they choose.
The report charged, "Parents say they're not questioning whether students should be able to share their preferred pronouns or whether transgender people should be outed, but rather why the union told teachers to break the law and hide the evidence."