The Given Name Act

Education

The Given Name Act

Whereas, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of parents to direct the care, upbringing, education, and welfare of their children;

Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that: “[T]he Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make child rearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a ‘better’ decision could be made.” Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, at 72-73 (plurality op.);

Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court has explained that the liberty specially protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment includes the right “to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 720 (1997);

Whereas, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court has held that public employees do not retain First Amendment protection for speech uttered in the context of their official duties as they are not speaking as public citizens;

Whereas, individuals under the age of 18 are minors and the courts have recognized their immaturity and the unique nature of the K-12 public school setting;

Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature of this state that administrators, faculty, and other employees and contractors of public elementary and secondary education institutions maintain policies in accordance with both the constitutional and long-recognized rights of parents, and appropriate limitations on employee speech within the context of public education.

PROVISIONS

In order to protect the rights of children, families, and teachers, and maintain order in K-12 public schools, the legislature enacts the following provisions:

a. No public education employee or contractor shall use a name to address a student other than the name listed on a student’s birth certificate, or derivatives thereof, without the written permission of a student’s parents or guardians.

b. No public education employee or contractor, shall use a pronoun in addressing a student that is different from that student’s biological sex without the written permission of a student’s parents or guardians.

c. No employee or contractor of a public preschool, elementary, or secondary school operating in this state, when acting in the course of his or her official duties, shall carry out any act or communication that would violate section (a) or (b).

d. No public institution may require an education employee or contractor to use a pronoun that does not match a person’s biological sex if contrary to the employee’s or contractor’s religious or moral convictions.

e. Nothing in this statute prohibits employees and contractors of a public preschool, elementary, or secondary school from discussing any matters of public concern outside the context of their official duties.

f. Any public institution whose employees or contractors are found to be in violation of this section are not eligible for state funding or state or local contracts under [state K-12 education formula].

g. Any aggrieved individual under this section may seek relief through the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, or bring a private right of action against any institution engaged in such prohibited discrimination, or both.

DEFINITIONS

“Parent” or “guardian” means a resident of this state who is the parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or otherwise the legal guardian of a qualified student.

“Sex” means biological sex, as listed on an individual’s original birth certificate.

“Student” means an individual under the age of 18 and/or an individual who has not been emancipated under the law [if such emancipation statute exists in state law].

“Employee” means any individual working in any capacity, whether performance of such work is voluntary or paid, including but not limited to teachers, administrators, janitors, cafeteria workers, or other individuals working at any state-funded preschool, primary, or secondary school.

“Contractor” means any individual working in any capacity for any state-funded preschool, primary, or secondary school through a contract between any such school or board of education or employee of or member of any school or board of education and that individual or that individual’s employer.

SEVERABILITY

The provisions of this act are hereby declared to be severable, and if any provision of this act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is declared invalid for any reason, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this act

Student means an individual under the age of 18 or who has not been emancipated [if such emancipation statute exists in state law].

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