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How replacing biological sex with gender identity is bad for children

“Gender identity” was only a fringe concept of postmodern philosophy. Today, it is routinely causing real harm to children and teenagers (especially girls) across the country in sports, schools and even youth camps.

One of the most striking examples is what happened to sixth graders at Weaver Elementary School in Los Alamitos, California. Without any notice to the parents, two biological men were placed as supervisors at Camp Pali in San Bernardino. The supervisors spent three nights in the same tents as the girls (these men told the girls to use the pronouns they/them.) When asked about the controversial measure , Emmi Teige, assistant director of Camp Pali, confirmed. Here’s her rationale: “Under California law, we place team members in the tents they identify with.” [Os pronomes neutros they/them são reivindicados por ativistas que se dizem não-binários, isto é, nem homens, nem mulheres. (N. t.)]

One might think that this shocking event in California is an exception. But really, it’s just the latest example of the new reality of public education, from kindergarten to ninth grade. Gender identity is taking priority over the well-being and safety of students across the nation.

For example, in Loudoun County, Virginia, a young man A 000 age who wore a skirt was allowed to choose the school bathroom and sexually assaulted a student. Transferred to another school, the boy sexually assaulted another girl. Adding insult to injury, shortly after the incident the National Association of School Principals labeled as “domestic terrorists” parents who are the same as one of the girls, who, at board meetings, spoke out against transgender and other radical policies. .

The overt promotion of transgender ideology has crept into schools without parental consent, and at the expense of learning. Gender identity policies and practices in schools are spreading. And curricula, books, videos, and activities promoting this ideology are used with students as young as five-year-olds. It is common, moreover, for these materials used in the classroom to have sexually explicit content.

An example of transgender indoctrination is the common use in Kindergarten classes of the Unicorn of Gender. and the Genderbread Person. These features employ a beloved character (the unicorn or the gingerbread man) to lead children to choose their own gender identity as well as gender expression, the gender they are physically attracted to, and the gender they are emotionally attracted to. attracted. Each option – even your “assigned sex at birth” – includes the following categories: female/male, female/male, and “other”. [Genderbread person é um trocadilho com gingerbread man, um biscoito de gengibre em formato de bonequinho que se come em festividades religiosas familiares. (N. t.)]

Parents are being intentionally left in the dark by school officials about the sexual content taught. Often, they only discover inappropriate content through their children, who are confused and distressed by what they were taught at school.

For example, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) prohibits teachers from communicating with parents regarding their children’s alleged or enforced gender identity, starting in kindergarten, unless the minor (at least five years old) give consent. In total disregard for parental authority, school officials are required to maintain secrecy as to the alleged, acknowledged (and often blatantly celebrated) gender identity of these boys and girls.

Furthermore, the OSPI states that “a student’s age and school year ‘should never be used to delay or deny a student’s gender transition.’” School culture has children questioning and arguing with each other about what gender identity they plan to choose. As a result, a Washington state teacher said that of her students this year, six changed their gender identity and another four “changed their appearance to resemble the opposite gender, but have yet to announce the change.” The intentional secrecy that schools employ to circumvent science and parental authority is increasingly alarming.

This concern with gender identity indoctrination is, moreover, conflict with the reality of biological sex and has a number of harmful long-term effects on children.

First, it is educational misconduct to reduce commitment to academic learning, which is already deficient, with inappropriate sexual content given in class. It creates confusion and insecurities, causing lifelong negative consequences such as mental health issues. In fact, a recent study indicates that harm to children exposed to sexually explicit and pornographic material can include poor “mental health, life satisfaction, sexual behavior and attitudes, as well as patterns of viewing pornography in adulthood.”

Second, this indoctrination encourages identity confusion in students, as it conflicts with their biological reality (think Gender Unicorn and Gingerbread Person).

Thirdly, the free choice of toilets, non-binary supervisors in tents and men in locker rooms and women’s teams are not only violating girls’ privacy, but also putting them at risk.

Fourth, promoting or providing access to hormone blockers and surgery for children and adolescents adds irreversible damage, ranging from sterilization to emotional abuse of the child .

Finally, those states and districts that prohibit the disclosure of discussions of gender ideology and who carry out a gender “transition” plan without parental consent, nor communication to them, are not only causing harm to children, but also a rift between parents (or legal guardians) and children. .

Schools label as “non-supportive” parents who do not reinforce children’s claim to belong to a gender other than their biological sex. School officials then quickly and persistently claim that these children are in immediate danger thanks to their “non-supportive” parents and at imminent risk of suicide. In California, for example, public schools have taught students the things they need to say to trigger child protection services and get them to remove parental rights so the minor can get hormones and surgery without parental consent or costs.

What can parents do about these misleading gender identity practices, teachings and policies? The first step is to get informed. Talk to your child and his or her friends, contact teachers, principals and district leaders.

The next step is to tell other parents what you hear and see. Report what is happening to school principals, state legislators and others in positions of power. Make your voice heard. Vote for the choice of schools and for candidates who support parent empowerment.

Parents should also ask for educational transparency. Thanks to parents raising their voices, laws mandating statewide curriculum transparency in public schools from kindergarten through ninth grade have been introduced in 000 states . These require public schools – which, after all, are funded by taxpayers – to make the list of classroom resources publicly available. This movement to improve transparency admits that parents have the right to know, in advance, what will be taught to their children, especially when it is of a sexual nature. And parents should be given the option to take their children out of it.

We need continued vigilance as to what is being taught. While systems of curriculum accountability are critical, they are not a perfect safeguard against teachers using their classrooms (during class and beyond) to promote gender ideology to their captive and impressionable audiences.

In many cases, the teaching of gender identity is woven through the school day, regardless of subject matter – sometimes using resources from formal lessons. For example, in Oregon, schools circumvent the requirement to notify parents of gender identity lessons and sexual content by requesting parental communication and separate consents for health lessons only, giving schools full freedom to promote these ideas in other classes.

Finally, many may choose to select an alternative environment for students – as parents have been doing across the country. In Washington state, 39.000 children were taken from public schools in a twelve-month interval (between October 2019 and 2020).

All this brings us to a crucial point: we need universal school choice, but as long as it is public policy. Parents must have authority over how and what should be taught to their children. By placing funding with families – not with the education system – all parents will have educational options. It is essential for parents to be empowered to protect their children from radical political agendas and practices that are causing long-term harm. It is a matter of defending parental rights and ensuring authentic accountability of the schools to which they have entrusted the education of their children.

KERI D. INGRAHAM is member of the Discovery Institute and director of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education.

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