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Tipsheet

Parents Beware: Here’s the CDC’s Guidance on How to Handle Transgender Students

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) republished guidance late last month urging teachers and other school staff to advocate for LGBTQ+ issues to their students. 

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On Dec. 27, the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health shared its “inclusivity self-assessment tool” on Twitter. In the caption, the agency urged schools to see how they score and where they need to improve to increase inclusivity at school.

The guidance was republished by the CDC shortly after Christmas, according to The Daily Signal. It was initially published in October 2020. 

The “LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool” guidance is 32 pages long and includes four assessments; one for all users, and separate assessments for school teachers, administrators and health staff. 

“Schools play a critical role in supporting the health and academic development of all youth, including the success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/ questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Creating and sustaining inclusive school environments, policies, programs, and practices that include LGBTQ youth is one strategy for improving the health and academic success of all youth,” the guidance’s overview states.

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Scores in the assessments range from “C” to “A,” with “C” standing for “commit to change” and “A” standing for “awesome ally.”

In particular, the guidance urges school staff to use gender-neutral terms like “partner” rather than “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” And, it pushes school staffers to use “inclusive terminology” like chosen names and pronouns and not assuming the gender of students’ friends and family members. 

For teachers, the assessments push for their classrooms to include “visual labels” of LGBTQ+ support, such as the rainbow pride flag, and unisex bathroom signs “marking it a safe space for LGBTQ students.” During sexual education lessons, it urges teachers to separate human anatomy from gender, such as describing “a body with a penis” or “a body with a vagina” without associating it with “male” or “female.”

The guidance promotes several LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, including the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Human Rights Campaign, Harvard University’s “Implicit Bias Test,” and promotes the “Gingerbread Person,” a teaching tool meant to teach about the differences between anatomical sex and gender identity. 

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“The fact that the CDC released this resource in October 2020 – under the Trump administration, and in the middle of a global pandemic – highlights that these policies have been underway for far longer than most people have any idea,” Parents Defending Education President Nicki Neily told Townhall. 

“This document is a naked attempt by the federal government to coerce educators into doing their bidding via struggle session, and it is shameful that Americans’ tax dollars have been funding these efforts while families struggle with the cost of living,” she added. 

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