Parents Defending Education’s (PDE) new resource for parents seeks to inform them of their state education agencies’ policies about gender identity and reveals multiple states instruct teachers to keep their students’ gender identities a secret from parents.
As it continues to add information from more states, the national grassroots organization’s resource for parents currently provides links to the websites of 29 state education departments across the country along with their policies regarding transgender students and gender identity.
In Connecticut, for example, the state department of education’s “Guidance on Civil Rights Protections and Supports for Transgender Students” asserts “documentation” of gender identity is “not required” for students and the school’s “obligation to treat a student consistent with the student’s gender identity or expression does not require notice from the parent or guardian.”
The Kentucky Department of Education responds to the question, “Should a school inform a parent/caregiver of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity against a student’s wishes?” with the statement:
The involuntary disclosure of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity, commonly referred to as “outing,” is an extremely dangerous practice. School leaders must balance their responsibility to protect the health and safety of a student with their responsibility to keep parents informed of important educational issues. If a student voluntarily discloses their sexual orientation or gender identity to an educator with the assumption that this information is to be kept private, it is best practice for the educator to maintain that confidence and keep this information confidential.
The Massachusetts Department of Education instructs school officials decisions about informing other school staff about a student’s new “gender identity” should be made “in consultation with the student, or in the case of a young student, the student’s parent or guardian.”
“The key question is whether and how sharing the information will benefit the student,” the department says, and adds 14-year-old students are able to “consent” to sharing their gender identity information:
Transgender and gender nonconforming students may decide to discuss and express their gender identity openly and may decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information. A student who is 14 years of age or older, or who has entered the ninth grade, may consent to disclosure of information from his or her student record. If a student is under 14 and is not yet in the ninth grade, the student’s parent (alone) has the authority to decide on disclosures and other student record matters.
Maine’s education department states in its policy concerning “transgender and gender-expansive students” that “school staff shall comply with the student’s wishes regarding disclosure of their transgender status to others, including but not limited to parents or guardians … unless the student has explicitly authorized the disclosure or unless legally required to do so.
Parents from all walks of life are coming to @DefendingEd with the same message:
I just want my child to go to school and learn. pic.twitter.com/d8kSJBMYOT
— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) September 23, 2022
Many states have also opted to provide a list of “resources” to LGBTQ youth, most of which appear to be LGBTQ activist organizations.
In Michigan, for example, schools are urged to support “the formation of Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs)” in both middle and high schools.
“These groups have been shown to improve school climate for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and are protective for all students, both members and non-members,” Michigan’s policy states. “They can serve different functions, including supporting potentially isolated and at-risk LGBTQ students and their allies, educating the larger school community, and advocating for a more inclusive school climate.”
The Arizona Department of Education also provides a list of LGBTQ activist groups to students, including GLSEN Phoenix, which has moved into “school communities to create safe, affirming, and inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ” students.
Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA), “whose mission is to support, advocate, and promote justice for Southern Arizona’s transgender, non-binary, and gender-creative people,” is also recommended by the Arizona education department to its students as a “resource,” as is the Trevor Project, which has promoted its image as a suicide prevention and crisis intervention service for LGBTQ youth and is, therefore, cited often as a resource for LGBTQ young people.
🚨 New infographic with @TrevorProject! 🚨
— NIHCM (@NIHCMfoundation) July 28, 2022
The Trevor Project has been one of the many activist groups that has promoted the narrative that children who claim discomfort with their biological sex must be immediately “affirmed” in their new gender identity in order to prevent suicide, a theme that has instilled fear in parents of children with mental health issues that involve gender identity.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Dr. Stephen B. Levine, of the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, observed the high level of transgender ideology activism that has been allowed to influence medical issues pertaining to gender dysphoric youth, including the LGBTQ activist-induced fear in parents that pushes them to be immediately “gender-affirming,” or else risk a child who commits suicide.
“The question of suicide is inappropriately handled,” Levine and his colleagues wrote:
Suicide among trans-identified youth is significantly elevated compared to the general population of youth (Biggs, 2022; de Graaf et al., 2020). However, the “transition or die” narrative, whereby parents are told that their only choice is between a “live trans daughter or a dead son” (or vice-versa), is both factually inaccurate and ethically fraught. Disseminating such alarmist messages hurts the majority of trans-identified youth who are not at risk for suicide. It also hurts the minority who are at risk, and who, as a result of such misinformation, may forgo evidence-based suicide prevention interventions in the false hopes that transition will prevent suicide.
“The ‘transition or die’ narrative regards suicidal risk in trans-identified youth as a different phenomenon than suicidal risk among other youth,” Levine and his colleagues note. “Making them an exception falsely promises the parents that immediate transition will remove the risk of suicidal self-harm.”
Levine pointed to “biased online samples that rely on self-report” that have warned of an “alarmingly high risk of suicide.”
Among the reporters of such “evidence” is the Trevor Project, which was recently cited by transgender U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel (born Richard) Levine during an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered
Abortions are healthcare 💙 art by @sarah_epperson_ 🎨
— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) August 2, 2022
“Trans youth in particular are being hounded in public and driven to deaths of despair at an alarming rate,” the Biden top health official told NPR “in prepared remarks” at the end of April.
Condemning state legislation intended to curb child gender transition, Levine cited The Trevor Project for statistics:
Fifty-two percent of all transgender and nonbinary young people in the U.S. seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020. Think about how many of them thought it was better to die than to put up with any more harassment, scapegoating and intentional abuse.
The Trevor Project’s “research,” and that conducted by others often cited by activists, “frequently conflates suicidal thoughts and non-suicidal self-harm with serious suicide attempts and completed suicides,” Dr. Stephen Levine and his colleagues stated.
“Until recently, little was known about the actual rate of suicide of trans-identified youth,” the researcher explained.
“However, a recent analysis of data from the biggest pediatric gender clinic in the world, the UK’s Tavistock, found the rate of completed youth suicides to be 0.03% over a 10-year period, which translates into the annual rate of 13 per 100,000 (Biggs, 2022),” Levine observed. “While this rate is significantly elevated compared to the general population of teens, it is far from the epidemic of trans suicides portrayed by the media.”
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