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Our Kids Don’t Belong to the Government

In the rush to intersectional progressive Nirvana, blue-state departments of education, medical professional groups, and LGBT advocates have jumped to the conclusion that any parent who dares to question the immediate and unqualified affirmation of their child’s declaration of transgenderness must be mentally unfit for parenthood.

Reading stories about impressionable kids being told by school authorities that their parents don’t get to decide how to raise them infuriates me. This story is about a girl, who had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, whose parents weren’t even told she had “come out” as transgender at school when she was just 14 years old.

At her high school, my daughter was approached by a girl who had recently come out at school as transgender. Shortly after meeting her, my daughter declared that she, too, was a boy trapped in a girl’s body and picked out a new masculine name.

“My daughter thinks she’s transgender. Her public school undermined my efforts to help her.” USA Today Opinion, August 12, 2019

She first came out as transgender to her school, and when she announced that she was a boy, the faculty and staff — who had full knowledge of her mental health challenges — affirmed her. Without telling me or my wife, they referred to her by her new name. They treated my daughter as if she were a boy, using male pronouns and giving her access to a gender neutral restroom. (Emphasis mine.)

The school’s position is that they are following the law, that prevents them from taking the parents’ side. But there is no law here, only rescinded Obama-era guidance from 2016. No, the school is making up its own law, and saying that they own the child, not the parent.

Worse, the ACLU is sending misleading letters to schools, encouraging them to believe that parents have no role or rights in how their kids are “gendered” at school.

My daughter told me that the school social worker was advising her about halfway houses because he thought we did not support her. The social worker confirmed this when I scheduled a meeting with him to discuss it. This felt like a horrifying attempt to encourage our daughter to run away from home. (Emphasis mine.)

What? This is beyond outrageous. The school social worker is not a parent, and has no place or right to tell a young teenager with a diagnosed psychological condition (of which he was well aware) that she needs to look to escape her own parents.

In the rush to intersectional progressive Nirvana, blue-state departments of education, medical professional groups, and LGBT advocates have jumped to the conclusion that any parent who dares to question the immediate and unqualified affirmation of their child’s declaration of transgenderness must be mentally unfit for parenthood.

The National Education Association has partnered with the Human Rights Campaign and other groups to produce materials advocating automatic affirmation of identities, name changes and pronouns, regardless of parents’ concerns. In 18 states and the District of Columbia, including in my home state of Illinois, there are “conversion therapy” bans, which prevent therapists from questioning a child’s gender identity. No wonder my daughter’s therapist would only speak to me off the record.

This girl, now 18, has been turned against her parents by a government convinced she belongs to them, and not her parents. Should she follow through with testosterone treatment, the government, not the parents, will have made this girl into a man. There should be a law against that.

Kids belong to parents, not to the government.

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