Civil Rights or Parental Rights: Schools Keeping Student Gender Identity a Secret

By Brittany Stewart

by christiannewsjournal

As a mom, I hope I have raised my children with enough integrity and compassion to feel comfortable to confide in me. Being honest and truthful is something held close to our hearts as Christians. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17 The Bible teaches us to be truthful and honest in our dealings.

But, the reality is that somewhere along the road of adolescent maturity, our youngsters are bound to lie. Making mistakes is part of our journey into adulthood. Children lie for many reasons, from embarrassment, wanting to own their mistakes, avoiding upsetting parents, and dodging a lecture. But, where do we draw the line on “keeping quiet” regarding our children’s sexual health? After all, there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. There is also a large developmental discrepancy at play. And, sexual health is a mental and physical health issue that should be disclosed to parents. As guardians, we are the overseers of our children’s well-being. School counselors and doctors are there for support and education, but ultimately we have the say in our child’s health. Until recently.

Currently, there is still a battle in California and other states regarding this issue. Should parents be notified if their child identifies as something other than “boy” or “girl” at school?

(awkward silence)

Yes, yes, they should, if only, so when you get their report card and it says, “transgender, intersex, two-spirit, male who responds to pronouns Ey, Em ,and Eir,” you can understand exactly what that means. Yes, there is hefty sarcasm behind those words.

In all seriousness, though, yes. Keeping this sexual confusion from the minor’s parents is an absolute violation of parental rights. Here in Arizona, at least “all parental rights are exclusively reserved to a parent of a minor child without obstruction or interference from this state, any political subdivision of this state, any other governmental entity or any other institution, including: [the right to direct the education, upbringing, moral or religious, all health care decisions, and access to all documents both medical and educational…](ARS 1-602) Additionally, a minor is categorized as a human being from birth to age 18.

So, what is going on then? Why are some “experts” okay-ing that a minor hides, in other words, lies to a parent about their sexual confusion? What good is going to come from a parent not being made aware that their child is now part of LGBTQ? Why is this even an issue that is in court? Teaching Sex Ed in school requires parents’ approval. School funded field trips require parents’ approval. In-school eye tests require parents’ approval. But, transparency regarding your child’s newly chosen sexual orientation, no need to alert the parents. Perhaps because the school counselors and doctors think they know better than the parents.

Civil rights advocates argue schools must protect student privacy including their gender identity and sexuality under federal law, and that counselors need to be able to keep conversations with students confidential if they want to maintain trust.” What’s lacking there is of utmost importance; the parents’ trust and relationship with their child.

Unfortunately, these situations keep popping up. In Maine, a mother is suing a school counselor who encouraged her teen’s social gender transition, “providing a chest binder and using a new name and pronouns, without consulting parents”. And also in California, a mother who claims teachers secretly manipulated her 11-year-old daughter into changing her gender identity and name has filed a legal case against the school district. The discrepancy is such: do the parents’ legal rights to direct the upbringing of their children supersede the state statute aimed allowing school counselors to keep information private?

Is perchance this confusion the end-game and these teens generally are confused? Gender Ideology is everywhere: being the focus of pop culture, social media, politics, and the academia world. But it shouldn’t be confusing. Again, this confusion is purposeful. A purposeful tool intended to gain control.

We live in a society where women can fix the ceiling fan and men may do laundry; but that never meant they were Transgender. They were just a woman and a man. The CDC defines a child that identifies as “nonbinary” as “gender creative”. What in the world? This means that a child can create and make up their own genders. Yes, which includes a lot of adolescents, as gender exploration is a natural part of development. For example, Bobby who loved to dress up at home wearing his sister’s tutu and his superhero cape at 5 or 6, is exploring his sexuality and “once a child questions their gender,” they are considered LGBTQ. The “Q” means Queer or Questioning. Bobby has already been categorized and to those parents on this radical rollercoaster, he is no longer a boy. [Mind-blown emoji].

The mayo clinic explains that, “Gender expressions and behaviors might include: Certain bathroom behavior, such as a girl insisting on standing up to urinate, an aversion to wearing the bathing suit of the child’s sex assigned at birth, a preference for underwear typically worn by a different sex, a strong desire to play with toys typically assigned to a different sex.” As I was reading these I couldn’t help but chuckle in absurdity of those examples, because they all hit close to home. My boys taught my daughter to urinate standing up. Not joking. As was my job, I corrected her when she was 3, describing the differences between her body and her brothers’ the way a 3-year-old would understand. As a teen, I wore board shorts rather than a “girl’s” bathing suit and loved playing with dump trucks and in the mud. The Happy Meal toys intended for girls, I never wanted them. But, I was NEVER confused about my gender or categorized in LGBTQ. I was just a very sporty young lady, who preferred Birkenstocks and comfy clothes over Stilettos and miniskirts. I am a female, heterosexual. And, my daughter is much more girly than me.

At this point, the only reason for secrecy is for control. Yes, there are situations where a teacher or counselor may shy away from telling something confidential to a family with history of abuse. That’s an issue for a different agency. But, moreover, this issue is occurring at a wide-scale and growing swiftly. A Virginia Mother recently sued the school board and staff for not revealing her daughter’s gender confusion and counselling; saying “they took her right away to protect her daughter”. School counselors knew she was being relentlessly bullied and urged her to use the boy’s bathroom, even when she did not want to. Sadly, her mother found out about all of this too late, as her daughter ran away from home and was sex trafficked through multiple states.

For those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, this may look very much like good versus evil. Children are being conditioned to thinking they need to question their sexual orientation and then keep it a secret from their parents. Honestly, it seems ludicrous that this issue has even entered our judicial system, but it has. The world is confusing now days, and our child may indeed be confused. Even more of a reason to alert the parents. Confusion leads to fear, which leads to paranoia, and can drive impressionable adolescents to do things in haste that they may regret.

Be cautious not to throw your rational out the window and embrace the radical group thinking; because it could actually lead to the endangerment of our youth. Let’s say no to keeping secrets and tell the schools to leave our kids alone.

 

Citations

“ARS 1-602.” 1-602 – Parents’ Bill of Rights; Governmental Interference Restricted; Burden of Proof; Definition, azleg.gov/ars/1/00602.htm. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023. 

Melley, Brian. “Mother: Teachers Manipulated Child to Change Gender Identity.” AP News, AP News, 22 Jan. 2022, apnews.com/article/business-california-gender-identity-cdb790cc3059e71e22d86b8e7b445361. 

Publications.Aap.Org, publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/138/2/e20161348/52508/Sexuality-Education-for-Children-and-Adolescents?autologincheck=redirected. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023. 

Sharp, David. “Maine Mom: School Wrong to Help, Hide Gender Transition.” AP News, AP News, 7 Apr. 2023, apnews.com/article/transgender-lawsuit-school-maine-8003272a6c8b1111010ba42bea2ceb8e. 

“Steps for Supporting Your Child’s Gender Identity.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Oct. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/children-and-gender-identity/art-20266811. 

“The ‘Q’ in LGBTQ: Queer/Questioning.” Psychiatry.Org – The “Q” in LGBTQ: Queer/Questioning, 11 Dec. 2019, www.psychiatry.org/News-room/APA-Blogs/The-Q-in-LGBTQ-Queer-Questioning. 


Brittany Stewart, an accomplished writer and educator, draws inspiration from her 23-year marriage and upbringing near Lake Tahoe in Verdi, Nevada, now residing in Tucson, Arizona. With her Bachelor’s degree in Education, emphasizing Native American Literature and Journalism, Brittany is a multifaceted professional who is also a Licensed Massage Therapist. She is deeply involved in Tucson’s homeschooling community, leading a homeschool group, teaching dance, and offering art classes. She and her family have a homestead in Southern Arizona, where her husband hunts and she tends to the garden, emphasizing the importance of God and family in her life while continually seeking adventure through her travels.

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