SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls is sharing updated guidelines regarding human sexuality in educational settings ahead of a new school year.
KELOLAND News has obtained a copy of a letter sent to families with students who attend Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools. We’ve also obtained a copy of a document detailing LGBTQ policies for students and staff. This policy states that official documents must contain a “student’s biological sex as determined from conception.”
It also includes policies for boys and girls sports, locker rooms and bathrooms. Bishop O’Gorman Catholic School students return to class on Thursday, August 18.
A letter dated August 4 from Bishop Donald DeGrood is titled “Gifts of the Divine Creator: on being Male and Female.” In it, DeGrood writes “We are called to acknowledge and accept our sexual identity as male or female.” He also claims that “Transgender ideology undermines the very basis for marriage and family, which are foundational to human society itself.”
A 2021 American Psychological Association resolution takes a different stance; it encourages the recognition of “transgender and gender nonbinary identities as healthy expressions of gender.”
The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls’ policy on “Human Sexuality in Education Settings” was, according to a message from the bishop, “recently adopted.”
The policy states that students cannot “advocate, celebrate, or express” either same-sex attraction or “transgenderism” in a way that would “cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events.” It also says that teachers or staff cannot refer to a student by a pronoun that corresponds with the opposite sex.
O’Gorman High School is one of many of the diocese’s schools in eastern South Dakota. Pope Francis has met with transgender people on more than one occasion in recent months, in April, June and this month.
KELOLAND News has reached out to the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls and requested an interview with DeGrood; as of 9:00 Friday night there was no response.