Power 2 Parent
Published: May 2, 2024

Parents Need To Know: Gender Policies in Clark County School District, Washoe County School District

By Rachel Caldwell, Power2Parent

By Rachel Caldwell, Power2Parent


The policies governing gender identity and expression differ substantially between Nevada’s two largest school districts – Clark County School District and Washoe County School District.

Clark County School District is governed by Policy 5138 – ‘Addressing the Rights and Needs of Students with Diverse Gender Identities or Expressions.’ It is the more conservative policy of the two.

Washoe County School District is governed by Administrative Regulation 5161 – ‘Gender Identity and Gender Non-Conformity – Students.’

The biggest difference between the two is the stance each governing document takes on a parent or legal guardian’s right to know if a child is identifying with anything other than their physiological and biological identity at school.

CCSD’s policy states that upon a child identifying as gender diverse at school, the school will form a Gender Support Team that includes the parents of the child, the student, the Equity and Diversity Education Department Administrative Team, select school personnel, and any representatives of community-based support groups (including faith groups) as designated by the parents of the student in question.

WCSD, on the other hand, takes that stance that staff do not have the right to inform parents of the student’s gender expression or identity at school. The regulation states that “staff shall not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender or gender non-conforming status to others, including parents/ guardians and other staff members, unless there is a specific ‘need to know,’ they are legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”

Furthermore, “staff must be mindful of the confidentiality and privacy rights of students when contacting parents/guardians so as to not reveal, imply or refer to a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” according to the regulation.

Both policies allow for the student to use the restroom and locker room that correlates with their professed gender identity. The CCSD policy states that restroom and locker room use decisions may by assessed on a case-by-case basis, while the WCSD regulation provides more of a seemingly ‘carte-blanche’ accommodation.

No accommodation is made within either policy for other students who may be uncomfortable with the gender non-conforming student’s ability to use either restroom or locker room.

Additionally, there are no specific requirements in either policy to be called by an alternative name on unofficial school records.

Access the governing documents here: