School Board Implements New Policy


August 23, 2022 Arrowhead School Board Members discussed policy 651 on student names and pronouns after a similar policy was implemented in the Kettle Moraine school district.


Previously, the lack of a policy allowed students to go by different pronouns at school than those assigned at birth without parental consent. 


Policy 651 requires parental consent for students who would prefer to go by different pronouns and allows staff members to report students who are socially transitioning to their parental guardians. 


The voting for this policy was on September 14th at 6:30pm and policy 651 passed. 


Senior Megan Truax said policy 651 would affect Arrowhead students. He says, “It’s definitely going to be negative, at least for me. Luckily my parents are accepting, but some people do not have accepting parents, and having to get that approval can make school a really negative experience.”


Nick Pflieger, school psychologist and advisor of GSA, said, “With the passage of this policy, I am concerned that our LGBTQ students will feel even less of a sense of belonging and that they have fewer teachers to talk to, therefore risking an increase in possible mental health challenges, including the risk of suicide.”


Pflieger said according to Arrowhead’s most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, only 44% of our LGBTQ students reported a sense of belonging, compared to 82% of our straight-cisgendered students. Only 55% of our LGBTQ students reported having a teacher to talk to, compared to 67% of our straight-cisgendered students.


Ian Callies, a Senior, said “I mean, to me it’s a small thing, so if a student likes to have their own pronouns it shouldn’t really be an issue if they want to change it because it’s a personal thing. But having to have your parents sign off on something, that just makes it a whole lot more work when it shouldn’t be.”


Students who disagreed with the ruling created a petition regarding the implementation of policy 651. You can view the petition here.


Pflieger said, “Only time will tell the true impact of this policy, but I worry about the mental well-being of all of our students in the interim.”