As schools around the nation adopt more “gender affirming” policies following the Biden administration’s promotion of the practice, members of national education organizations, such as the American School Counselor Association, may be withholding that information from students’ parents, the Post Millennial reported Friday.
The article stated that the student counseling organization, which boasts some 75,000 members of the total 300,000 guidance counselors, advocates for the students to decide who can be told about their gender identity.
“School counselors recognize that the responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student rather than outside confirmation from medical practitioners, mental health professionals or documentation of legal changes,” the organization’s adopted practice standards regarding transgender and gender-nonconforming youth state. “Transgender and gender-nonconforming students have the right to decide when, with whom and to what extent to share private information. When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender or gender-nonconforming student, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s assigned sex at birth, unless the student or parent/guardian has specified otherwise.”
In March, the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services Office of Civil Rights issued its guidance for dealing with this category of students.
“The Department of Health and Human Services stands with transgender and gender nonconforming youth and their families — and the significant majority of expert medical associations — in unequivocally stating that gender affirming care for minors, when medically appropriate and necessary, improves their physical and mental health,” the document said. “Attempts to restrict, challenge, or falsely characterize this potentially lifesaving care as abuse is dangerous.”
In June, the ASCA posted a link on Twitter for schools to get resources on developing “Gender and Sexuality Alliance” programs for their institutions from the LGBTQ GLSEN organization, which consists of educators working to create an “affirming learning environment” for LGBTQ youth, according to the GSLEN website.
A recently passed law in Florida takes direct aim at such policies by banning discussions of sexuality and gender in the classrooms of elementary schoolchildren and not allowing districts to keep information about gender confused students from their parents, NPR reported.
“It’s not something that’s appropriate for any place, but especially not in Florida,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said when signing the bill into law earlier this year.