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Multiple Gender Options Removed from Student Website Following Complaint

HERNANDO – A glitch in the system is what sources say allowed the Hernando County School District's student enrollment website to show multiple gender options. A parent complained and the problem went away.

On Friday, R News received a screenshot of the Winding Waters K-8 Skyward Information System showing a drop-down list that allowed students to choose between Agender (no gender at all), Cis gender, Female, Male, Non-Binary, Pan gender, or unreported. The parent who sent the screenshot voiced outrage over the discovery and immediately contacted the school district.

The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, says the online system is used to update student information, view grades, and share messages with teachers. When he signed on to update his child's information and download her grades, he was shocked to see the new gender options.

R News contacted the district last Friday to find out who approved the change, however, prior to receiving a response from the district, the parent advised this afternoon that the issue had been resolved.

The parent says he spoke with School Board Member Shannon Rodriguez and a district IT specialist this morning who explained that during a system update the dropdown menu automatically populated Skyward's default options. The parent says, "They fixed the issue, removed that new student enrollment, removed the gender identity and now have a new student enrollment form." He praised Rodriguez's quick response stating, "Shannon really stepped up and followed through to make sure no one can register as a 3 toed sloth."

District Public Information Officer Karen Jordan contacted R News today and stated, "Since becoming aware from the parent and Mrs. Rodriguez, this function has been locked because it is a district requirement that new students register at the school to ensure that proper documentation is submitted to school staff." Jordan went on to say, "In the Hernando School District, at the time a student is registered for school, school staff are required to record gender as indicated on the student's birth certificate."


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