New Law INCOMING – Schools Inform Parents on Names?

School classroom with school desks and blackboard in Japanese high school

( – A new Indiana law will require parents to be notified when their child asks to be called by another name other than their legal name, even if it is just a shorter version of their name.

According to the bill, House Enrolled Act 1608, every charter and public school in Indiana must provide parents with written notice within five days of their child asking to be called something other than their official name. Parents also must be notified if their child requests to be called by a different pronoun. The new law applies to students in elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Notices must be sent even if it is just a shorter version of their official name, such as Mike instead of Michael. Parents must still be alerted to the request.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, who felt parents should know if their child is asking to be called a name or pronoun other than their official name. The bill was part of a legislative package that banned teaching prekindergarten through third grade students about “human sexuality.” The legislation passed both the Indiana state House and state Senate in April. It was then signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

According to Whiteland, “Parents should not be cut out of the decision-making for their kids.”

Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, called the legislation a “copycat” of legislation passed in Florida.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita included information about the new legislation in Vol. IV of the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which was released Aug. 8. The first three volumes included legislation that had been passed, including HB 1447, which requires all library books at a school to be cataloged. It also requires schools to have a formal process in place for parents who want to challenge certain books. Previous editions also included SEA 480, which prohibits transgender surgeries and hormonal procedures for minors.

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