As an aside, call it anything you like but when both the CEO and the EVP “resign” (Heritage Foundation) that means that their asses got canned. Now, speaking of Heritage Foundation, the latest from some nitwit named Sarah Parshall Perry:
Respecting student privacy is not unconstitutional. I reached out to the American School Counselors Association which provided policy excerpts:
- Privacy that should be honored to the greatest extent possible, while balancing other competing interests (e.g., best interests of students, safety of others, parental rights) and adhering to laws, policies and ethical standards pertaining to confidentiality and disclosure in the school setting.
- Keep information confidential unless legal requirements demand that confidential information be revealed …
The reasoning behind this is that children might not seek counseling if they fear that their privacy could be violated. The greater good is served by protecting student privacy.
Policy is not law. Adherence to a policy doesn’t make something lawful. However, policy is a consideration of what is best for children.
Ms. Perry is arguing in the abstract
After citing inapplicable case law:
In Montgomery County, Maryland, educators are actively keeping information about something as critical as a student’s gender identity preference hidden from parents—an action in direct contravention of legally guaranteed parental rights, and in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
We don’t really know if they are “actively” doing anything. Policy and conduct are two different things. Moreover “gender identity preference” reminds us of “sexual preference” to promote the preposterous notion that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices.
In response, two families have sued the Montgomery County Board of Education. The suit aims to enforce their rights to access information about their children’s gender identity, which is generated and retained by Montgomery County schools pursuant to a 2019 policy.
Lead counsel appears to be Steven W. Fitschen who is an advisor to the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. I cannot find where he went to law school but he does have an MDiv from Regent U.
The complaint is an exercise in ignorance.
Among other things the plaintiffs claim that transitioning causes youth to be suicidal. It’s quite the opposite. The greatest cause of suicidal ideation is the stupidity of fundamentalist Christians in defense of scripture.
In contrast, trans kids who have family support have levels of anxiety and depression at, or near, their cisgendeer peers. Perhaps the religious set is wed to the notion that prayer will dispel demons.
That aside this is all profoundly stupid
I would guess that the two sets of parents filed suit, not because of any real concern, but because the policy insults their religious beliefs. The school district is put in the position of hiding a student’s sexuality because some parents are ignorant fools.
Belief systems are based on faith. Science, however, is based on evidence.
In this case the science is unambiguous. Gender-affirming care is the basis for the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It raises a simple question: Should a pediatric medical condition be treated according to the best medical science available or according to ancient texts?
Chances are that neither set of parents has a child suffering from gender dysphoria. But suppose they did. Would they really choose religion over medical science? Maybe.
But there is a more fundamental issue. If parents cannot have an honest conversation with their children about sexuality then something is wrong with the parents. Furthermore, if a child actually transitions that’s hard to do without parental awareness.
But let’s assume, arguendo, that a child is secretly gender incongruent. There is a reason that he or she will not discuss this with their parents and it usually stems from the fear of rejection or fear of punishment.
Parental disapproval of a medical condition (shame and blame) makes about as much sense as an exorcism. The stupidity would be more obvious if parents blamed their kids for needing eyeglasses but scripture doesn’t weigh in on matters of vision.
I realize that there is a fundamental issue of parental rights. I would be sympathetic if the rights at issue had any meaning. That is, if the information was important then parents would be empowered to make objective choices. That’s clearly not the case regarding a student’s reasonable expectation of privacy in matters concerning their sexuality.
Gender diverse kids already have enough to deal with and they are very vulnerable. If the fear of their parents is realized through disclosure then the potential for self-harm is elevated to a frightening level.
Sarah Parshall Perry is aware of the potential problem. She just chooses to ignore it. Here she summarizes part of the Board of Education’s arguments:
According to court filings, the Montgomery County Board of Education claims it is acting in the best interests of the minors involved by protecting them from the “unsupportive” parents of those children.
In its motion to dismiss, the Montgomery County Board of Education represented that disclosure to parents who are “not supportive … might expose the student to harm” and that “gender nonconforming students face significant dangers of abuse at home from unsupportive families.”
Ms. Perry is not listening:
By cloaking critically important information about one’s child under the guise that unsupportive parents are “dangerous” to their children, schools are given license to effectively label “gender critical” parents as abusive without the benefit of due process protections.
Please. Due process is required if the state takes action against the parents for child abuse. Respecting a student’s privacy when doing so is clearly warranted does not subject parents to any action which would require them to have “protections.”
While the public school districts and their unions may foolishly assume they know better than parents about what to do when it comes to a child’s “gender identity,” the Constitution and other federal law do not grant them the authority to circumvent parental consent or notification in these matters.
Foolish? Preventing child abuse is foolish because some ignorant morons do not approve of a medical condition. The assumption is not that school personnel know anything better than parents. The prevailing assumption is that the student has the information necessary to make a decision relating to disclosure.
And again, there is no upside to disclosure. There is nothing that parents can do to alter a child’s gender identity. There is considerable downside potentially realized as the abuse of particularly vulnerable and fragile child.
No kid wants to be gender incongruent. They are already in distress. We cannot begin to understand what a child is going through by hiding their gender identity from holier-than-thou parents. In the name of parental rights these folks want to make matters worse and increase the kid’s suffering to conform to religious dogma.
On what planet does that make any sense at all?
Sarah Parshall Perry doesn’t get it because she does not want to get it:
Despite the whims of the board of education, a parent’s rights do not end at the schoolhouse door. But if not eliminated, the unconscionable policy of the Montgomery County Board of Education will be the beginning of a steep and precipitous decline in protections for those rights.
Unconscionable? The school board is motivated by their determination of what is best for children. The parents suing the board are motivated by religious dogma and what they regard as a parental right. Nowhere in that equation is the health of a child even a consideration.