On February 21, 2024, the ACLU of Kansas and the Kansas National Education Association sent an advisory letter to the principals, superintendents, and board members of all Kansas schools about their continued obligations to protect and uphold LGBTQ+ students constitutional and statutory rights, offering clarification after potentially misleading letters from the Kansas Attorney General. 

Kansas does not have a law requiring school districts to out students to their parents or guardians. In addressing situations where a student may decide to come out as transgender or nonbinary at school, it is not illegal for school districts to adopt policies that address such situations on a case-by-case basis with consideration for the student’s privacy and safety.  

The U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 both place an affirmative legal duty on every Kansas school district to protect its students, including LGBTQ+ students, from bullying and harassment, and also prohibit school districts from adopting policies that discriminate or single out transgender or LGBTQ+ students. Students have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to information about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it is unlawful for school officials to disclose, or compel students to disclose, that information. Minors have independent privacy rights regarding their gender identity, and parents’ rights to direct the upbringing of their children do not automatically override those privacy rights.  

Not only do school districts have constitutional and statutory obligations to protect their LGBTQ+ students’ privacy interests, but Kansas school districts that desire to go beyond their legal obligations by creating safe and supportive learning environments for all students and staff should consider adopting comprehensive LGBTQ+-inclusive policies that protect students’ constitutional and statutory privacy rights.