Guidance counselor defends pronoun guidance during forum

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Posted at 7:58 AM, Sep 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-28 13:07:46-04

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — A high school guidance counselor in Anderson County defended the message the school gave teachers about using student’s preferred pronouns during a “Right to Know” forum at a church in Anderson County Tuesday night.

Jerilyn Hanks, who said she was part of the team who came out with the guidance, was one of three scheduled speakers at the event. The other two included a parent who stood in support of teacher Randy Adams, who made the original post, and a representative for the Family Foundation.

None of the parents LEX18 heard speak during a Q&A liked the guidance, which tells teachers it is best practice for them to use students preferred pronouns, according to a copy of the document posted online by the group who organized the forum.

The document goes on to say it is best practice for teachers to not tell parents about a student's preferred pronouns.

Hanks said there's multiple other instances where they would share with a parent.

"It depends on the situation and it depends on the levels of self harm," Hanks said, explaining they will reach out to a parent if they feel the student may harm themselves "Otherwise I am bound as a trusted individual who is trained so your children have a place to go come to where they feel safe."

She spoke about how some kids don't have a safe place to go home, alluding to the dangers some students could face if teachers told parents about their disclosures about gender identity or sexual orientation.

Hanks said she does not represent the school district, adding she is a born-again Christian.

“I’m not against these beliefs but I’m not going to push them on someone who did not go to church as a child," she said.

Randy Adams, the Anderson County teacher who first wrote wrote about the topic on Facebook, was at the event but Saud he was advised he could not answer our questions at this time.