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Guide guides teachers to encourage student transition, even without parental consent

American elementary and high schools have created a guide on transgender for principals and educational counselors who are part of an educational district in Ohio, in the United States. The material guides teachers to initiate the social transition of students who do not identify with their gender at birth, even without their parents’ consent.

The guidelines were reviewed by the non-profit organization Parents Defending Education (Parents defending education, in Portuguese). According to what was released by the PDE, teachers and staff are instructed on how to treat students who identify themselves as being of the opposite sex, even without the students asking for help from professionals. The guidelines range from how to register in schools, how to approach students in the classroom and communication with parents to details on access to bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as care with school trips.

“A student’s transgender status or gender assigned at birth is not considered public information and therefore cannot be disclosed without prior consent,” the text reads. The document also urges staff “not to disclose information that could reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents and other staff, unless it is legally required to do so.”

The NGO also had access to an email written by Ohio Regional School Superintendent Mark Raiff. In the statement, the educator explains that “the guidelines were shared following the issuance of new guidance from the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice to principals and school counselors.”

In the text, Raiff notes that “harassment or discrimination based on gender identity is prohibited.” In addition, he stresses that staff and faculty should refer to students by “the student’s requested name that matches their gender identity.”

The email further details that while the district administration, staff and faculty are “obliged to maintain the legal name and gender assigned at birth in all permanent documents and records, any other unofficial documents from the school must present the name chosen by the student himself”.

According to the superintendent, the team must also be careful to ensure that the names chosen by the students are changed in the lists of the classes, to avoid c constraints.

There are also different approaches suggested by the school guide when parents disagree or do not know the student’s gender identity, according to school year and age. For children in preschool through fifth grade, if staff see a “possible expression of gender identity that is misaligned with the gender assigned at birth and this is detrimental to education,” the guideline is to seek help from social counselors outside of school.

With regard to toilet use, the Pedagogical Guide stipulates that a student “must have access to facilities that correspond to their gender identity” and that students must not be required to use a private cabin bathroom, excluded from other colleagues.

The PDE complains that the proposed guidelines were not presented at public meetings nor voted on by school board officials. As a result, there was no opportunity for the community to offer contributions or criticisms of the material.

On 31 in March, the Civil Rights Division sent a letter to the state attorneys general to inform them of federal laws and statutes that purportedly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

“The US Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that transgender youth , like all others, are treated with fairness and dignity, in accordance with federal law. This includes ensuring that they are not subjected to unlawful discrimination based on their gender identity, including when they are on hormone treatments. We write to remind you of the many constitutional obligations that flow from these fundamental principles,” the statement read.

Caroline Downey is a news writer for National Review Online.

©2022 National Review. Published with permission. Original in English.
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