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High School Program Allows Children to Order 'Gender-Affirming Clothing' Without Parents' Knowledge

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

A high school transgender group has kicked off a new program, with the support of the school, that will pose yet another threat to parental rights. The Berkeley High School’s Alliance for Gender Expansive Students (AGES) has launched a new initiative that provides free “gender-affirming” clothing to children suffering from gender dysphoria.

The program, which started at the end of the last school year, is ostensibly intended to create a safe and inclusive space for children who believe they are transgender while raising awareness about issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

However, this particular program carries with it some serious problems.

Berkeley High’s Alliance for Gender Expansive Students (AGES) started a free gender-affirming clothing program towards the end of last school year. AGES is a student-run club dedicated to making a safe space for transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

According to club leaders, their goal is to improve the school environment and raise awareness around LGBTQ+ issues. The gender-affirming clothing program provides things such as binders, bras with padding, and much more.

“Gender-affirming clothing is really important to being perceived the way you want and having gender euphoria. It’s a special experience to have clothes that fit you emotionally as well as physically,” said Eva Patrick, a junior in Academic Choice (AC), “And having the gender-affirming care that you need is important to achieving that for trans folks, especially.”

Gender-affirming clothing is clothing that helps create gender euphoria and comfort in one’s body. The free gender-affirming clothing program has helped dozens of students express their gender identity through clothing. AGES has raised over $1,000 this year and plans to help even more students in the near future.

What is particularly insidious about this program is that it allows children to access this clothing without the knowledge or consent of parents.

The way to receive this clothing is quite simple. First, fill out the form using the QR code on the posters put up around campus. Then, you will get emailed so AGES understands what size and garment you need. After that, they order it. It will either be delivered to your house or to the school depending on circumstance. If delivered to school, one can pick it up in the AGES room.

That’s right, folks. Children can order these clothes on their own and have them shipped to Berkeley High School for free. This means they can go through “social transitioning” behind their parents’ backs. The school appears to allow teachers to discuss these issues only if it is “appropriate,” according to its administrative regulations.

Addressing a Student's Transition Needs: The compliance officer shall arrange a meeting with the student and, if appropriate, the student's parents/guardians to identify and develop strategies for ensuring that the student's access to educational programs and activities is maintained. The meeting shall discuss the transgender or gender-nonconforming student's rights and how those rights may affect and be affected by the rights of other students and shall address specific subjects related to the student's access to facilities and to academic or educational support programs, services, or activities, including, but not limited to, sports and other competitive endeavors.

The AGES program raises concerns about the violation of parental rights. The fact that the school is allowing students to socially “transition” without their parents’ knowledge is problematic in that it allows the school, which is clearly supportive of “gender-affirming care,” to further influence children without input from those who are raising them.

This means parents will be unaware of what their children are facing and the mental health issues they might be experiencing. The notion that a school could unilaterally take this step should be concerning to everyone. This is part of an overall effort to have public schools usurp the role of parent and have the state be in charge of shaping their minds. What is even more concerning is that many other schools could be implementing similar programs, meaning that more parents will be kept in the dark about their children.

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