National battle brews over parents’ right to know gender choice of their children at school

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By TOM GANTERT | THE CENTER SQUARE

A battle over parental rights is brewing across the country and at the forefront is the gender choice of children while enrolled in public schools.

In California and New Jersey, the government has gone to court to shield parents from knowing what gender their children have chosen while at school.

In other states, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, the policies on parental notification are left up to the individual school districts to determine. In Ann Arbor public schools in Michigan, the district does not require parental notification of a student’s transition or use of different pronouns. Just five miles away in Dexter Community Schools, the district doesn’t have any policy regarding parental notification. 

Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas had bills introduced in 2023 that would require districts to disclose a trans student’s gender identity to parents, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“It’s disgusting that we now have union-controlled politicians fighting to keep sexual secrets from other people’s children,” said Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, in an email to The Center Square. “These radicals believe children are the property of the State, and many of them won’t reverse course any time soon because it’s part of their deeply held socialist views. The far left has infiltrated the government school system and they are using it for ideological indoctrination as opposed to education. These extremists see the school system as a means of raising other people’s children with their own worldview, and they won’t stop without accountability.” 

In California, Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit in August against Chino Valley Unified School District when that district adopted a mandatory gender disclosure policy. San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas Garza last week ordered that the Chino Valley district stop its policy. 

“Every student has the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity – regardless of their gender identity,” Bonta said in a news release. “We’re in court challenging Chino Valley Unified’s forced outing policy for wrongfully and unconstitutionally discriminating against and violating the privacy rights of LGBTQ+ students. The forced outing policy wrongfully endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of non-conforming students who lack an accepting environment in the classroom and at home. Our message to Chino Valley Unified and all school districts in California is loud and clear: We will never stop fighting for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ students.” 

The Rev. Benita Ramsey, executive director of Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance, said disclosing gender choices made by students was “life-threatening.” 

“Schools should be a safe place for all students. Chino Valley’s effort to force the outing of LGBTQ+ students without their consent is unconstitutional and will cause unnecessary and life-threatening harm to LGBTQ+ youth,” Ramsey said in a media release. “These policies are meant to silence and intimidate queer and trans youth from expressing themselves at school. We will always stand alongside our youth.” 

Orange Unified School District enacted a policy at its Sept. 7 school board meeting that mandates school staff notify parents on their children’s decisions involving gender. Exceptions to the parental notification policy are if the student is 12-years or older and objects to the parents being informed or if the staff feels the student’s well being would be threatened by informing the parents.

In New Jersey, Attorney General Matthew Platkin filed a civil rights complaint in May against three school districts because their policies required school staff to notify parents of the gender identity of their children. 

“In New Jersey, we will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety of our young people. Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose severe risk to their safety,” Platkin said in a news release. “Simply put, these policies violate our laws, and we will not relent in protecting our LGBTQ+ community – especially our children – from discrimination.”

Read the Anchorage School District transgender policy here.

22 COMMENTS

  1. It stuns me this is even an issue. Parents are legally responsible for their children.

    Parents have every right to know what goes on with the children they are responsible for at the schools they pay for.

    But it’s always been an integral part of leftist ideology to break up families.

    • Masked:
      This should not stun you at all. Your last sentence is the crux of the matter.
      .
      Leftists want to make adoration of the all powerful state everyone’s primary (and only) relationship. All other relationships are secondary. Making a child’s teacher the “most important/most trusted” person in a child’s life is just part of it.
      .
      What has the left destroyed already? Marriage, the extended family, religion… the list is essentially endless. All of it has one final outcome, destruction of all relationships EXCEPT that for the All-Powerful-State. In their world, parents have no right to know what the “village” is doing to their kids. The collective takes precendent.
      .
      This move is not stunning, it is expected.

  2. ANY parent, regardless of political leanings should be livid over the idea that anyone other than that child’s parent would have a say in these matters. It’s refreshing to see parents across the country, regardless of political, religious, or ethnic background, standing for their natural rights, to teach their children as they see fit and pushing back against these anti American ideals that claim the government has claim to our kids.

    • Curiously, the leftist parents that would cry foul if the schools withheld something important about their child, still support this crap. Leftists will always spend other people’s money, they will always confiscate other people’s property, and they have no qualms about destroying other people’s children. But, come after their’s??? Watch out.

  3. The idea that keeping a child’s identity secret from his parents will make the classroom a “safe” place for him is the perfect groundwork to abuse and exploit the child.

    This is perfectly obvious to anyone who is raising or who has raised a child.

    Adults who tell a child “not to tell Mom and Dad” are predators.

  4. When you find yourself arguing over whether parents have a right to know the “gender identity” of their child you’ve already lost the fight. There’s no such thing as “assigned gender” or self determined “gender identity.” There’s biological male, biological female and mentally ill. The Left or the Liberals or the Socialists or whoever these people are have successfully turned the entire conversation away from basic, undeniable biological truth into arguments about parental rights combined with accusations of intolerance, non-inclusiveness, prejudice, etc. and all the other undesirable behaviors they co-opted from the civil rights movement. Now instead of arguing basic biology those who won’t accept transgenderism find themselves on the defensive trying to prove that they’re not intolerant bigots trying to force a child to deny their true self. It’s ridiculous but it seems to be working. There’s two sexes or genders…male and female…and they’re determined by genetics and they cannot be changed no matter how hard you wish and pretend. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally deficient. Anyone who tries to indoctrinate a child to believe that he can become a she or vice versa simply by wishing it so is guilty of child abuse and should be punished appropriately.

    • Agree 100%.
      There is a MASSIVE difference between an adult telling a child to “not tell your mommy we are throwing her a surprise party” and an adult telling a child “Don’t tell your mommy about our friendship/trust/openness.”
      .
      Children, unfortunately, do not, cannot distinguish what “secrets” are OK to keep. And predators know that. “Just tell Grandma you fell off the swing.”

  5. Thank you above commenters, I agree – even to capital punishment for pedophilia.
    1. Children belong to God and their parents, period, full stop. Children do NOT belong to the government or the schools or the pedophiles or to those making any money at all mutilating them.
    2. “Gender identity” is “discovered” – taught, persuaded – by child abuse: They teach ’em what they want and ask them to “imagine if”… and a significant portion of them will try it. Even if the teachers themselves never physically touch the child involved, it is child abuse as the teachers have caused and suggested the physical abuse take place. Scientific research has shown repeatedly that gender feelings are caused by initial sexual contact creating new synapses in the brain – as designed by God to maximize the joy in faithful covenant marriage.
    3. Sex is chromosomal – formed at conception. “Gender” cannot be assigned, only twisted and perverted away from the sex created at conception.
    While I have some compassion for those struggling with dysphoria, I have ZERO compassion or tolerance for those promoting child abuse. What consenting adults do behind closed doors – assuming they’re staying away from kids – is none of my business. What I do find is that evil – this evil in particular – is evangelical in nature… They can’t stop promoting and abusing, for a variety of reasons, all evil – and the more this is in the news and the more the enemy pushes this pseudopsychobabble the angrier I’m becoming. ENOUGH!

  6. Addendum to #2 above my comment:
    Schools are discovering a much larger than thought percentage of gender non-conforming students. This is NOT due to repression by dominant heterosexual culture… It is CAUSED by the abuse of kids in our schools. Until we can regain control of our schools, parents please get your kids out of public schools and universities immediately. No one is safe in our schools.

  7. Parents have every right to teach children their values. Take this away and you have lost a majority of the nation’s tolerance. Parents should flee states where policies are switching against parental rights. These policies seems to go hand-in-hand with organized looting (it is organzed crime to arrive at a store with a gang with the intent to shoplift), ruining cities economies, and allowing the sprawl of homeless tent camp living (and defacating) in urban settings. Glad I got my youngins through before all these nonsensical policies. Ideology is being pushed ahead of biology, technology and just plain common sense.

  8. The worst insult to the parents and other tax payers is that they have to pay for these groomers who teach their children to think of themselves as something other than what their biological gender is. Then when the governor will not accede to the leftist demands for more money to teach even more of this gender departing ideology they cry that he is anti-education. It is the leftists who tell us that science, history and most educational subjects are “racist.” Either the public schools get back into education or parents should home-school their children as a friend of mine did for her five kids. Then she got the kids all scholarships and they went to college to become professional analysts and sociologists with advanced degrees. So it can be done.

  9. All, the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) gives parents the RIGHT to their children’s educational records. Any school or district that hides any school records from parents should be sued and pay the price for violating parent’s rights. Here is a link to the federal law: ‘https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/faq/what-ferpa. And remember, money is the most important issue to most K12 school administrators.

  10. 40 years ago, dads would have armed themselves and gone into the schools warning the school administrators that the furtherance of this creepy and perverted policy of child abuse would not be tolerated. Today, we have woke dads, scared dad’s, and feckless dads who can’t protect their own children from these indoctrination mobsters. Our country has been taken over by an administrative state, who want America dissolved from what we once knew.

  11. I believe this is a usurpation of US Constitutional rights in each instance. US Court of Appeals first court of jurisdiction. Federal Court rules. Sue each public servant jointly and severally after serving them notice to cure? Not practicing law but they have no authority to act outside their authority do they. They can not be paid for ultra vires acts on the clock and have no immunity for public crimes or usurpations while on the clock. You and your families have a lot to lose including their right to a free public education.

  12. One of the many ironies here is the left hates children.

    But if us serfs insist on having them, then they demand the “right” to experiment on them.

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