Rantz: WA schools intentionally, dangerously lie to parents about their child’s ‘identity’
Aug 2, 2022, 6:29 PM
(Photo courtesy of Bellingham Schools)
Educators are going much farther than teaching gender identity to Kindergarteners. They’re actively withholding information from parents about a student’s purported gender identity. This isn’t merely dangerous; it’s keeping families apart.
Schools in Washington are either adopting or implementing policies that keep parents in the dark. Educators and administrators will not reveal gender identity, different names a student may adopt, and even mental health concerns that could help parents connect their child with objective mental health experts. In some cases, they’re ignoring direct instructions from parents.
An updated policy in the Puyallup School District instructs staff to have secret meetings with students it believes to be transgender. A Northshore District school keeps detailed records on students, informing teachers what pronouns or names to use when talking to their child’s parents. In Bellingham, the superintendent endorses a worksheet teachers use to ask students what secret name and personal pronouns they prefer to be kept from parents.
And there is little parents can do.
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Policy requires educators to lie to parents
The Puyallup School District recently updated its Gender Inclusive School policy. It encourages appropriate staff to meet with transgender students in secret to come up with ways to keep information away from parents at the student’s request.
The policy reads: “The principal or building administrator—or an appropriate, designated school employee—is encouraged to request a meeting with a transgender or gender-expansive student upon the student’s enrollment in the district or in response to a currently enrolled student’s change of gender expression or identity. Before contacting a student’s parents, the school will consult with the student about the student’s preferences regarding family involvement and consider whether safety concerns are present for the student.”
The district’s policy knowingly lies to parents about their son or daughter, potentially driving a bigger and unnecessary wedge between them. Staff must “ask known transgender or gender-expansive students how they would like to be addressed in class, in correspondence to the home, and at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.”
“Before communicating with parents of transgender or gender expansive students, it’s important to ask the student how school employees should refer to the student when talking with their parents and guardians,” the policy states. “For families who are supportive, using the student’s name and pronoun could be affirming for the student. For parents who are not supportive, or who are not aware of the student’s transition at school, referring to their name and pronoun could be very dangerous. The district will not condone the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity or gender expression, or inappropriate release of information regarding a student’s transgender or gender-expansive status.”
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Districts routinely lie
Policies mandating staff to lie to parents are common in Washington schools, thanks to guidance from the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSDAA). Indeed, the Bellingham School District staff abide by the same policy as in Puyallup. A spokesperson for the district says it was adopted based on guidance from the WSSDA.
Districts may have different methods of maintaining student records to ensure the details are kept from parents.
In the Northshore School District, it uses Google docs. At least one middle school in the district maintains a document that includes student photos and notes about his or her gender identity or preferred name. For one student, it offers a directive to staff: “If sending anything home, please use student’s deadname ‘<name>.'”
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction offers additional guidance around gender identity via a memo to districts.
“In general, school staff should not share a student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status, legal name, or gender assigned at birth with others, which could include other students, school staff, and non-school staff,” the memo advises.
These policies are dangerous
Activist-educators defend these policies by arguing it protects students from bigoted parents who have the audacity to believe in biology and gender. But if there were truly concerns over abusive parents taking out their disagreement over gender identity in physically or emotionally abusive ways against a student, police should be involved.
Oftentimes, however, the concern isn’t about abusive parents. Educators simply fear a parent might intervene in a child’s development. They think they’re the real parents.
Hoping to create a more accepting society, these teachers don’t stop to think if a student is truly confused over his or her gender, or if it’s part of a political or social trend.
There isn’t a sudden surge of transgender or gender non-conforming students. Kids are being prompted to identify as gender non-confirming, particularly whites, to be a part of a social justice trend. Others may subconsciously seek to join a marginalized community, so they aren’t constantly demonized as oppressors by their left-wing teachers. No wonder some teachers embrace these secrets; they don’t want to be stopped in their efforts to indoctrinate students.
For those who are legitimately confused — and these children obviously exist — secrets like this can be soul crushing. That’s why these policies are so dangerous.
Districts are tearing families apart, rather than strengthening them. That some are doing it with the greatest intentions makes no difference. The end result is the same as if there was nefarious intent.
Kids legitimately experiencing confusion over their gender are better off navigating their feelings with parents — not teachers who may have political agendas. Teachers will never truly love these kids as much as their parents.
How do kids benefit by living two separate lives where they can’t be themselves in front of their parents? Loving mothers and fathers can help guide their kids and provide quality mental health professionals when necessary. But they can’t help if they don’t know. Teachers should help connect kids with parents, not encourage them to keep secrets.
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