Numerous Waukee teachers sought ‘preferred pronouns’ from students, asked what pronouns should be used with parents

The Iowa Standard filed an open records request with school districts across Iowa. Results from that request are still rolling in as some districts have been more successful in understanding what we were asking for and able to obtain the information much faster than others.

Waukee School District has been one of the best districts to work with on this project.

The district provided more than 100 records with respect to any surveys given to students in grades 6-12 asking about sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, political leanings, preferred names or preferred pronouns.

One of the surveys (which can be viewed in its entirety here), which was given to students in Spanish presumably, asked about pronouns and included this:

“Anything else I should know about you…if I should use a different name or pronoun when talking about you with parents. This will not be shared. Feel free to write on back, email or talk to me personally if needed.”

That appears to be the same approach as a survey given to students taking German.

Another group of students was also asked who their preferred name could be used around — other students, other teachers, parents?

Another survey asks students what they prefer to be called in the classroom and what they’re preferred pronouns are. Both are required to be answered. The next question is also required and asks when the teacher can use the pronouns, anytime with anyone or “only in some circumstances.”

“If you marked ‘only in some circumstances,’ please explain your preferences.”

Students are asked on another survey what name they’d like to be called in class and then what name the teacher should use when speaking with the student’s parents. Then they’re asked what pronouns should be used when talking about the student. They’re also asked if it is OK to use the pronouns selected above when talking to their parents.

Names and pronouns are literally four of the first five questions asked on that particular survey.

Another survey provided is an “All About Me” page. I’m not sure which grade level it was for, but the coloring page would suggest the students were relatively young.

Question 3 on the next page, “what pronouns do you use?”

Interestingly, question 16 is “what is the most important, secret-thing, that I need to know about you?”

Another survey asks for “the basics,” which includes the student’s name, pronouns and birthday.

On this survey, students are asked for their pronouns and then asked with whom the pronouns may be shared. But on the copy we received that part was scratched out, except for the nobody answer.

In another class, Mr. Cleveland at Waukee Timerbline’s first question for his students was “what do you want to be called? Pronouns?”

Another teacher’s survey noted “no one will see the responses from this form except for me. The purpose of this is for me to get to know you a bit better.”

The second question was for the student’s legal name, the third question was for the preferred name and the fourth question was what name the student is called at home.

Question six asked for the student’s preferred pronouns. All of those questions had an asterisk signaling they were “required.”

Students were also asked on that particular survey if they were contacting their parents or guardians is there anything the teacher should know or be aware of when speaking about the student. And students are also asked about any mental health considerations the teacher should keep in mind.

Ms. Nervig also asked students for their preferred pronouns. And that question was required on her survey as well.

Psychology and AP Psychology students were asked for preferred pronouns.

U.S. History students were asked for pronouns, and the question was required. As were Contemporary Affairs students.

Mr. Prohl asked his history students for their pronouns.

An English II survey included the preferred pronoun question, but it was not required to be answered.

The APEX — which appears to be the Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience — asks students what they’d like their instructor to know about them and notes it is confidential, right before asking if they have a specific pronoun they’d prefer to use.


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