Florida School District Instructs Teachers to Keep Parents in the Dark on Their Children’s Transgender Identity

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Here’s yet another story about what the left says isn’t happening in America’s classrooms. The Broward County (Florida) Public Schools’ district issued a support guide on LGBTQ students that instructed teachers to conceal details about a child’s transition to another gender from their parents.

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The school district’s website features a document titled “Transgender and Nonbinary Student Guidelines and Procedures,” which tells the reader “supporting transgender students and families of transgender youth gives young people in our schools the equal opportunity that all students need.”

The document continues, explaining that “[t]he expression of transgender identity, or any other form of gender-expansive behavior, is a healthy, appropriate and typical aspect of human development.”

Parents Defending Education (PDE), which originally reported on the guide, noted that it defined the term “transgender” as an “umbrella term” that includes “nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender nonconforming youth.”

The guide continues:

Children typically begin expressing their gender identity between the ages of two and four years old. Around this age, transgender children often express their cross-gender identification to their family members or caregivers. However, not all youth who identify as transgender begin the process at an early age; for some, gender identity is a slower, more nuanced process for a variety of personal, social, developmental and societal reasons. Creating a more welcoming environment for students’ gender diversity is a more effective and lasting strategy. Broward County Public Schools is working to develop more gender inclusive environments for all students, knowing that we are also creating more affirming spaces for transgender young people in the process.

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Teachers are mandated to use the preferred names and pronouns indicated by the student, according to the guide. It then notes that school staff can conceal the “gender transitioning process of students” from the parents:

School personnel should privately ask a transgender student how they want to be addressed in communications to the home or at conferences with the student’s parent(s)/ guardian. In addition, prior to notification of any parent(s)/guardian regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent(s)/guardian will be involved in the process and must consider the health, well-being and safety of the transitioning student.

The document also states that a “Gender Support and Transition Planning Guide” can be used by school staff to decide “when and how this is communicated to students and their parent(s)/guardian.” It reads:

If the student requests, and in the case of an elementary-aged student, the student and parent(s)/guardian requests, the affirmed name shall be entered into the District’s Student Information System to inform staff of the name to use when addressing the student. This addition to the Student Information System is facilitated by the Assistant Principal, along with a trusted adult (see Gender Support and Transition Planning Guide) and communicated to the Data Entry Clerk/IMT at the student’s school. The A-03 panel in TERMS will have a field entitled “Affirmed First,” denoting the student’s affirmed first name.

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Students identifying as the opposite gender will “have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity asserted at school,” according to the district, which also mentions that on overnight field trips, “[i]f students are to be separated based on gender, the transgender student should be allowed to room with peers that match their gender identity.”

The document even instructs teachers not to use terms like “boys and girls” to describe the children, but to use terms like “students” and “scholars.” The reasoning is that using gendered terms might make some students feel alienated if they identify as “non-binary,” meaning they do not identify as either gender.

The report from PDE has even more disturbing details about this guide. But as is always the case, the most alarming factor in this story is that yet another school district is actively working to make sure parents remain in the dark when it comes to their child’s gender identity and sexuality. They seek to have teachers, counselors, and other school staff win the trust of these children without their parents having any real input.

What is even more insidious about this practice is that it ensures that parents do not find out about their children transitioning to the other gender until it is too late. In this way, it has become almost cultish, with educators conditioning children to believe they are transgender even when this might not be the case.

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The consequences can be devastating. I spoke with Gabrielle Clark on my podcast, who recently revealed that she dealt with this situation with her own daughter. The process she had to go through to deprogram her child from this conditioning was extensive. But if parents don’t assert their rights and push their governments to protect them, this scenario will become even more common.

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