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AZ bill to require parental permission for students to change pronouns

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, February 8, 2024 - 2:48pm
Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2024 - 4:54pm

A state Senate panel voted to require teachers to contact parents if a student asks to be addressed by a pronoun that doesn’t match their biological sex.

The bill further stipulates that parental notification would be required when a student wants to be addressed by something other than a first or middle name listed on official school records.

Republican Sen. Justine Wadsack said state law gives parents the right to direct the upbringing of their children.

“No other entity has the right to infringe on that right. And if their child is doing something at school that could become alarming to their mental health care needs, they need to be notified so they can get involved," Wadsack said. 

The bill's approval came after several transgender youths testified before the Senate Education Committee approved the bill.

Samuel Kahrs described coming out at age 11.

"Nothing really changed until I came out to my teachers and asked them to call me Samuel and he and him pronouns. It was not until my teachers lovingly accepted who I was that I was able to be accepted at home by at least my mother," Kahrs said. 

Kahrs said that for many transgender students. school is the only place they can feel safe.

A similar bill was vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs last year.

Politics Gender