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Piñon Post: "Parents in seven NM school districts left in the dark about kids being ‘transitioned’"

Updated: Jun 12

Bryan, Wiki Commons.

"Seven major New Mexico school districts, responsible for the education of thousands of children, have implemented policies that allow students to change their “gender identity” in school without notifying their parents, as revealed by the

The conservative group Parents Defending Education (PDE) uncovered these policies through public records requests. The documents show that teachers are instructed to help transgender students change their names, pronouns, clothing, and gender identity without parental knowledge.

Transgender advocates argue that these guidelines are essential for protecting students from unsupportive parents. However, many parents believe these policies are dangerous and deny them the opportunity to support their children through difficult times.

PDE’s outreach director, Erika Sanzi, criticized the schools for their “indefensible and likely illegal” policies, stating, “Any time a school participates in or facilitates a student’s transition, they are engaging in a psychosocial intervention that requires parental notification and consent. Federal law guarantees parents the right to view every record maintained by the district, and that includes gender support plans.”

The schools in question—Los Alamos Public Schools, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Las Cruces Public Schools, Gallup-McKinley County Schools, Moriarty-Edgewood School District, Santa Fe Public Schools, and Gadsden Independent School District—did not respond to inquiries from PDE plans to add these schools to its national database of institutions with secret transgender policies.

New Mexico is known for its progressive stance on transgender youth, offering protections from discrimination and bullying. Last year, Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham signed a law safeguarding sex-change procedures in the state.

Santa Fe Public Schools, comprising 28 institutions, has one of the most stringent confidentiality policies, instructing teachers to “MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY — THIS IS CRITICAL.” The internal guide states, “Do NOT share the student’s transgender status with anyone else. This is HIGHLY confidential information.” Parents are only informed if a student wishes to change their name or gender marker in the school’s database.

In the Moriarty-Edgewood School District, teachers are instructed to determine if students “feel safe” and whether their “parents know” about their gender transition. When parents are unaware, only a counselor is involved.

The documents also include educational materials like the “Gender Unicorn,” which promotes the concept of gender as a fluid spectrum, and the ‘Genderbread Person,’ which educates about intersex and ‘genderqueer’ identities. These materials aim to challenge traditional notions of biological sex.

Parents’ concerns extend beyond New Mexico. In Wisconsin, a group of parents recently protested a gender support policy in the Eau Claire Area School District, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the matter. The group, Parents Protecting Our Children, argues that the district’s policy violates their constitutional rights by excluding them from their children’s gender transitions.

Nicholas Barry, a lawyer from America First Legal, asserted that the Supreme Court “should step in and protect parental rights,” emphasizing that parental exclusion from a child’s social transition is “simply disconnected from reality.”

Schools face pressure to support transgender students amidst a politically charged environment where gender identity has become a contentious issue. This debate includes whether “trans” teens should use restrooms and participate in sports that align with their gender identity. These matters often result in legal battles, with varying outcomes depending on the state.

Parents of transgender-identifying children express concerns about external influences, such as classmates, social media, and school staff. Some parents believe their children may not truly be transgender and advocate for delaying irreversible steps like puberty blockers or surgery, citing underlying mental health issues as a more significant factor.

The number of transgender children aged 13 to 17 has doubled, and insurance claims for puberty blockers and hormones have similarly increased. Supporters of “gender-affirming care” attribute this rise to greater awareness and acceptance, while concerned parents warn of a potential “social contagion.”"

Article By Gregory Hollister / June 8, 2024 / New Mexico, News, Politics / Pinon Post

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