Ohio School District Mandates That Teachers Use Students' Preferred Pronouns

Person holding sign encouraging use of gender pronouns. (Credit: Unsplash/Alexander Grey.)

Columbus City Schools in Ohio has raised some controversy over a new directive regarding children suffering from gender dysphoria. The policy is being seen as another effort to undermine parental rights while pushing gender ideology on children.

At the heart of this issue is one burning question: At what point are these policies infringing on parental rights and harming children who are dealing with this mental illness?

The policy mandates that staff members address students by their chosen names and pronouns without their parents’ knowledge or consent, according to a Crisis in the Classroom exclusive.

Staff members in an Ohio school district are required to use students' preferred names and pronouns, raising red flags with a parents' rights group.

The practice is mandated in Columbus City Schools' "Transgender and Gender Variant Students" policy, according to documents received by advocacy group Parents Defending Education (PDE) and shared exclusively with Crisis in the Classroom (CITC). The policy mandates that students be "addressed or referred to by the pronouns associated with their transgender and gender nonconforming identity," listing examples including "they" and "them."

The policy also notes that parents "must be kept informed of any name or pronoun usage changes," according to the documents received by PDE. However, it goes on to say that Columbus City Schools staff will work with families to reach "a mutually agreeable solution" in the event a parent is "opposed to any name or pronoun usage changes."

PDE argues the language is a concealed attempt to "ignore" parents' wishes.

Alex Nester, an investigative fellow for PDE, referred to a report from the organization showing that “over 1,000” school districts across the country are “actively pushing parents out of serious and sensitive conversations.”

The report to which Nester refers was released in September 2023 and highlights a disturbing trend in America’s educational system.

In a recent development that leaves more questions than answers, a new report from parental rights advocacy group Parents Defending Education (PDE) shows that over 1,000 school districts actively support policies intended to keep parents in the dark about their children’s struggles with gender dysphoria.

The group has exposed alarming data highlighting this troubling trend. But even further, it also reveals the deceptive narrative being perpetuated by progressives who support the transing of children.

PDE’s President Nicole Neily discussed the report during a television appearance.

"We are still getting tips that are pouring in every day," President of Parents Defending Education Nicole Neily said on the Friday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "We actually released this number initially in March, and then we identified about 200 counties....this number keeps growing across the country."

There are two glaring issues with this policy and others like it being implemented in various school districts. For starters, there are concerns over the potential long-term health implications on a child’s psychological and physical well-being. Encouraging children to socially “transition” to the opposite gender without their parents’ involvement could lead to worse outcomes, further confusing the child about their actual gender identity.

This could lead to more children seeking out medical treatments, including puberty blockers and hormones that could permanently alter their bodies. By pushing this ideology on children, they could be advancing the severity of their gender dysphoria to the point that by the time parents realize what is happening, it might be too late.

Moreover, this policy ventures into violations of the right of parents to raise their children as they see fit. Government-run schools are essentially usurping the role of parents to ensure the health of their kids. The district, however, claims it is not trying to step into parents’ territory.

In a statement to CITC, Columbus City Schools said it is "committed to fostering a safe and supportive environment for all students," noting that "when students and families feel empowered in their identity, it positively impacts school campuses and the community as a whole."

Nevertheless, the policy is written in such a way that it is easy to see how it will almost certainly be abused. The truth is that this district, along with over 1,000 others, seeks to make decisions surrounding a child’s gender identity issues without including the parents if they deem it appropriate.

The effort to trans children is ostensibly part of a push for “inclusivity.” But, in reality, it is nothing more than another attempt to influence kids into accepting far-leftist ideas on gender. Unfortunately, it will be the kids and their families who suffer in the end.


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