Make your home page

Indiana lawmakers advance mandatory notification of students’ pronoun changes

Indiana State Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, left, listens to Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, during Indiana House debate on April 24, 2023, in Indianapolis, about a bill that would require school officials to notify parents if their child requests a name or pronoun change at school. House members voted 63-28 Monday to send the bill sponsored by Davis to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for a decision on whether to sign it into law. (AP Photo/Tom Davies)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers have signed off on a measure to require teachers to notify parents if students want to use a name or pronoun inconsistent with their gender at birth.

House Bill 1608 was approved in the House 63-28 on Monday after the Senate on April 10 approved the measure 37-12. Gov. Eric Holcomb will now decide whether to sign the measure.

The final version of the bill would require a teacher to notify at least one parent if a student asks the teacher to refer to them by a different name or pronoun within five business days. Earlier versions of the bill required schools to seek a parent’s permission before complying with a student’s request. but that language was removed from the bill’s final version.

Opponents have said the measure could out transgender youth to parents who might become hostile.

The measure also includes a ban on any instruction in human sexuality from pre-kindergarten through Grade 3.

The bill’s critics have pointed out no school provides instruction on human sexuality and noted the lack of a definition of the term “human sexuality” in the bill.

Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, sponsored the bill. She has said parents need to be kept in the loop about any issues their children face.

Holcomb recently signed a ban on all gender-affirming care for transgender youth.