Last year, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott introduced legislation that would prevent schools from hiding information about a student’s gender identity from their parents. This came after school districts in Virginia and California were exposed for concealing this information from parents. The legislation would withhold federal funding from schools that allow students to change their preferred pronouns, gender markers on school documentation and sex-based accommodations at the school.
“The law in the United States has long recognized the importance of parental rights. A parent’s right to oversee the care education of their child is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment,” the bill reads. “Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way they choose.”
“Public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning from their parents,” it continued.
Schools across the country have moved forward with policies that allow students to transition unbeknownst to their parents. This month, documents obtained by parental rights organization Parents Defending Education found that staff at Wichita Public Schools in Kansas are providing students with a “gender support plan” that allows students to keep their gender identity a secret from their parents.
According to the documents obtained by PDE and provided to Townhall, the gender support plan asks “Are the guardian(s) of this student aware and supportive of their child’s gender transition?”
In addition, the form asks “How public or private will information about this student’s gender identity be?” and questions who the student’s “go-to” adult at school will be to discuss their gender identity. In the list of questions, it asks which restrooms and other facilities the student will use on field trips and other activities.
“Under the doctrine of ‘in loco parentis,’ schools are delegated some measure of authority over children during the course of the school day. However, this certainly does not mean that public school officials replace or supplant the role of the family - which sadly, far too many taxpayer-funded educators seem to have forgotten. To undermine parents’ right to direct the upbringing of their children is not only immoral, but also illegal,” Nicki Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, told Townhall.
According to the documents, a presentation used to train staff about LGBTQ+ students at WPS makes the argument that using a students preferred name instead of their legal name will reduce depression and thoughts of suicide in transgender youth. And, the presentation claims that WPS has an estimated 340+ staff members that identify as LGBTQ+, including over 100 that identify as transgender. It also claims that WPS has 350+ students that identify as transgender and that 80 percent report being harassed for it. PDE pointed out that this means that about 0.7 percent of students identify as transgender, as well as 1.8 percent of staff.
Last year, a study conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute said that 0.5 percent of all American adults, 1.3 million people, and about 300,000 youth 13 to 17 years old now identify as transgender. And, recent reports have indicated that this number has increased.