Nearly 6,000 public schools hide students' 'gender transition' from parents

March 10, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A parent's rights group has published a list of 168 pro-"transgender" school districts serving more than 3 million students nationwide that have policies purposely hiding students' "transitioning" status from their parents in the name of "gender affirmation."

The noncomprehensive list of school districts was created by Parents Defending Education, or PDE, based in Virginia, and reveals the astonishing degree to which public school administrators, teachers, and support staff in so many jurisdictions are committed to advancing the youth "transgender" agenda — including using the latest "woke" lingo to describe trans students' "gender-expansive status."

"At least 168 districts governing 5,904 schools nationwide have rules on the books that prevent faculty and staff from disclosing to parents a student’s gender status without that student’s permission," the New York Post reported Wednesday, citing the PDE list. "The 3,268,752 students affected by such policies go to class in all kinds of districts — large and small, affluent and poor, urban and rural, red and blue [states] — stretching from North Carolina to Alaska."

Typical is the "gender-affirming" policy published by the Anacortes School District in Washington State (shown in the above graphic). Its policy reads:

"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. 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 [gender] transition at school, referring to their [new, opposite-sex trans] name and [opposite-sex] 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."

PDE's president, Nicole Neily, told the Post the list “only begins to scratch the surface of what is taking place behind closed doors in America’s schools.”

“This investigation shows that parental exclusion policies are a problem from coast to coast — and that living in a red state doesn’t mean that families are automatically shielded from this issue,” Neily said. "Without a doubt, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of others with similar policies on the books. We urge everyone to keep an eye out — and to let us know if they find something similar in their backyard."

The PDE report builds on a rapidly expanding movement of mostly moms, but many dads, too, who are fighting left-wing social bias in schools. The intensity of this movement has become a potent political force, with observers on both the left and right citing it as a major factor in the surprise election of Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia in 2021.

There are no Ohio schools on the Parents Defending Education list, although the phenomenon of administrators and teachers hiding a student's "trans" identity from his or her parents is a big problem in the midwestern state, according to pro-family activist Lindy Harvey, founder and president of Columbus, Ohio-based Mission America.

Harvey, who has been fighting LGBT propaganda and bias in schools for three decades, told WND, "Here in Ohio, we know of numerous schools hiding this information from parents, and it's been amazing how many specific instances we have heard of through Mission America and Protect Ohio Children," where she serves as a board member.

She pointed to a map on Protect Ohio Children's website that similarly "lists many of the state's schools that have this policy," as well as other leftist educational fads such as teaching Critical Race Theory, or CRT.

Mary Locke, a parent's rights activist in Federal Way, Washington, told WND that she is not surprised by PDE's findings, based on her experience researching schools' one-sided, pro-LGBT policies in her deep-blue state.

"I would guess that all the schools, or at least a vast majority, have similar policies. I'd bet they did a 'copy and paste' from the GLSEN [Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network] website." she said, referring to the leading national homosexual-bisexual-transgender activist group influencing schools. (GLSEN and other homosexual- and transgender-activist organizations have for decades used the threat of suicide among youth — often citing tendentious research — as a means to advance their agenda of demanding that schools actively affirm LGBT identities and behaviors.)

As if to accentuate the issue of secrecy surrounding children's sexual and "gender identities," GLSEN's site, like many pro-LGBT websites these days, has a "quick exit" feature so underage users can ostensibly get off the site quickly before a potentially disapproving authority figure — i.e., a parent — discovers the child looking at an LGBT site. GLSEN tells users that they can quickly exit the site by "pressing the Escape key three times."

"Pro-GLSEN teachers have access to a captive audience, children, in countless public schools. The homosexual-transgender lobby owns the public schools," Locke said.

She pointed to a Federal Way Public Schools "Resource Guide" titled, "Working with Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students and Staff," which pushes the same "trans-student privacy" agenda as the schools listed by PDE. (Federal Way is not on the PDE list.) On page 22, it reads:

"Should schools inform staff, students, or parents about a student’s transgender status?

"Information about a student’s transgender status, legal name, or gender assigned at birth may constitute confidential medical or education information. Disclosing this information to other students, their parents, or other third parties may violate privacy laws, such as the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99). School staff should not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure."

Harvey of Mission America told WND: "There is no worse betrayal by a school than to withhold from parents vital information about their child that could change that child's life forever. If I were a parent of a student today, and this was happening with my child, there would be no limit to the number of lawyers I would call to file as many suits as I could against that school system."

The New York Post cites Vernadette Broyles of  the conservative Child and Parental Rights Campaign, which is fighting legal battles against school districts and transgender clinics "alike to stop policies that keep parents in the dark."

Broyles told the Post that trans-privacy guidance of the sort evidenced by the PDE report "violates parents' right to privacy as codified in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as well as parents’ 14th Amendment rights."

The Post cited Broyles' comment to the Washington Free Beacon last year, in which she said, "Privacy rights are held by the parents for the child, not by the child against their parents,” adding that school administrators and teachers are engaging in “intentional obfuscation, driving a wedge between children and parents at a time when children need their parents most.”

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