Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘pronouns’

War On Parents: Male Teacher Asked This Mom’s 11-Year-Old ‘Transgender’ Daughter to Sleep in Boys’ Cabin


BY: KELSEY BOLAR | AUGUST 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/war-on-parents-male-teacher-asked-this-moms-11-year-old-transgender-daughter-to-sleep-in-boys-cabin/

woman wearing sunglasses

Author Kelsey Bolar profile

KELSEY BOLAR

VISIT ON TWITTER@KELSEYBOLAR

MORE ARTICLES

At the beginning of the school year in 2019, Jennifer received an email from her daughter’s 5th-grade teacher. The teacher, a male, was using a different name for her then-10-year-old daughter. Jennifer thought it was a mistake. The teacher must have accidentally emailed the wrong parent. But then, Jennifer went to her daughter’s room and found a yellow Post-It note stuck to her dresser with that same name, along with the pronouns “they/them.”

“Do you have a new nickname?” Jennifer asked.

Her daughter responded yes.

Jennifer didn’t think much of it beyond harmless identity exploration. But a couple of months later, Jennifer received a more concerning call from a school counselor informing her that her daughter had used the words “suicide” and “cutting” with a friend. The counselor recommended her daughter start seeing a therapist who was contracted with the school. That therapist was free to use, accessible during school hours, and qualified to handle her daughter’s mental health problems, Jennifer was told. Worried about her daughter, Jennifer said yes. But because her daughter was only 10 at the time, Jennifer would have to go into the school and give written permission.

Jennifer lives in a suburb of Washington state, where children as young as 13 years old can access their own medical and mental health services without parental knowledge or consent. Parents in these cases are billed by insurance companies with no explanation of benefits, meaning they’re stuck with the tab but have no ability to know what services or treatments their child received.

When consenting for her daughter to see the school therapist, Jennifer made sure to tell the therapist that her daughter had been talking about her sexuality and gender identity. She shared that while she and her husband believed their daughter was too young to be exploring these ideas, they’d “love her no matter where she ends up.” The therapist made no mention of her own views on the subject or her affirmation-based treatment model where, if a child declares he or she is transgender or non-binary, the therapist would affirm the child’s stated identity.

So, for two and a half months, Jennifer’s daughter was meeting with a school therapist once a week who was treating her as a boy, using male pronouns and a made-up name. When Jennifer would ask how the sessions were going, the therapist acted as though nothing big had come up.

‘Coming Out’

Then in February 2020, right before COVID-19 hit, Jennifer received a phone call from the school therapist with a two-fold purpose: to request that she and her husband come to the school in three days for a meeting where the therapist would assist their daughter in officially coming out to them as a boy, and to obtain parental permission to allow her daughter to stay overnight in the boy’s cabin for an upcoming school trip.

Sensing the meeting wouldn’t go well — and worse, would set them up in an adversarial position with the daughter they loved — Jennifer and her husband called it off.

“We were never going to let her do that, I don’t care who she thinks she is,” Jennifer said. “There are so many reasons not to put a girl in a cabin with a bunch of boys and a male adult teacher. So many safeguarding fails.”

At that point, Jennifer and her husband decided to take more drastic measures. They were skeptical that their 11-year-old daughter was transgender and believed the school and the therapist were actually leading her to identify as a boy. So, they revoked their consent for their daughter to see the school therapist, took away her access to online devices, and soon, unenrolled her from public school altogether.

“I already knew I couldn’t trust the school with my daughter when she was in fifth grade,” Jennifer said. “And going onto the middle school, she would be turning 13. And then I wouldn’t even know. They wouldn’t have to tell me what was going on.”

Identifying as a Boy

Jennifer’s daughter first identified as transgender when she was 10 years old and enrolled in an online drawing program. Prior to that, Jennifer and her husband had restricted their daughter’s access to online devices. But since their daughter was an artist, they agreed to what they thought was a harmless online art program.

Yet, a year and a half later, Jennifer learned it was through that group of online art friends that her daughter was introduced to ideas of sexuality and gender.

“She talked about being asexual at 10 years old,” Jennifer said. “Which of course she’s asexual at 10 years old. But that’s an identity.” She then talked about being demi sexual, gay, non-binary, and finally landed on transgender.

The transgender identity was heightened when her daughter began conversing with a group of girls at school who, at ages 10 and 11 years old, also identified as some form of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The friends appeared to compete over who could have the edgiest, most unique identity.

“She was trying to fit in. She was trying to have friends,” Jennifer said.

Once her daughter was out of school and no longer communicating online with peers who valued queer identities, her transgender identity lost its importance. Slowly, Jennifer said, her daughter started to let it go.

‘Wasn’t Making Her Happy’

“Her mood changed drastically,” Jennifer said. Identifying as transgender “wasn’t making her happy.”

Since giving up on being transgender, Jennifer has talked with her daughter about everything that happened over the year and a half she spent exploring identifying as a boy. After repeated unanswered requests, Jennifer also obtained notes from the school therapist, which confirmed her suspicion that the therapist was encouraging her daughter’s transition behind her back.

“I was so upset because [the school therapist] was using male pronouns for my daughter from the first moment, from the first notes,” Jennifer said. “He, him. And it seemed like all that she was doing with my daughter was helping her advocate for herself whenever somebody ‘misgendered’ her.”

This included Jennifer’s older two sons, who didn’t even know their sister was identifying as a boy. It also included a boy at the school who Jennifer said got in trouble for “misgendering” her daughter.

“At the school, they’re not just affirming and encouraging my daughter in this delusion,” Jennifer said. “It’s deluding other kids too. They are teaching kids to deny their own sense perceptions.”

More recently, Jennifer felt enough time had passed that she could ask about the idea of staying in the boy’s overnight cabin for three nights without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious.

Jennifer’s daughter told her, “That wasn’t my idea. That was the school’s idea. My teacher asked me.”

“Kids want to please adults,” Jennifer said. “My daughter felt she had to answer yes.”

After that incident, Jennifer said her daughter, who is now 13, decided she didn’t want to go on the 5th-grade overnight trip. Though it wasn’t then, it’s now clear to her why.

‘Going to War Together’

Jennifer feels betrayed by educators, therapists, doctors, and liberal politicians whom she spent a lifetime supporting. That list includes President Joe Biden, who told parents in March that affirming their child’s transgender identity is “one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.”

“A lot of people think that using the pronouns and affirming a child who says they’re the opposite sex, that that is about kindness,” she said, explaining:

Everybody’s very confused about this. Because the T has purposefully been attached to LGB, which is a completely separate issue. We know the LGB community was mistreated, and so people don’t want to do that again with trans-identified people, so everybody’s being super careful, and they want to be kind. But it’s a different situation. With LGB people, they’re saying, ‘Just let us be who we are.’ And there’s no medical consequences.

But with transgender-identified people or people who identify as the opposite sex, it’s very much a medical situation and it’s about the harm medicalization causes. Children are cutting off their healthy breasts and testicles and doing things to their bodies that they can’t undo. So that is completely different. Of course parents are concerned when their children identify this way because it carries a heavy medical burden which they will have for the rest of their life. They become sewn to the medical industrial complex. They will have to take drugs. They will probably have to have other surgeries. We don’t even know all the health consequences at this point. It’s an experiment happening right now on children.

In the past, most parents followed the watchful waiting approach. Children were not medically or socially transitioned, and the vast majority became comfortable with their sex when they went through puberty. Today, parents are being told that affirmation is the only acceptable response to a transgender declaration. Jennifer’s story is just one example of how there is another possible outcome if a child is not affirmed.

“They might desist,” she said. “Isn’t that preferable to a lifetime of harmful medical procedures?”

For more from IWF’s Identity Crisis series, click here.

Editor’s note: Last names have not been used to protect a minor’s privacy.


Kelsey Bolar is a contributor to The Federalist and a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum. She is also the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a weekly newsletter for women, and the 2017 Tony Blankley Chair at The Steamboat Institute. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, daughter, and Australian Shepherd, Utah.

Wisconsin School District: Parents Are Not ‘Entitled to Know’ If Their Kids Are Trans


REPORTED BY: M.D. KITTLE | MARCH 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/08/wisconsin-school-district-parents-are-not-entitled-to-know-if-their-kids-are-trans/

Eau Claire, Wisconsin street

Madison, Wis. — Parents are “not entitled” to know their kids’ gender identity, according to a recent training session in Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Area School District.

Empower Wisconsin obtained a copy of a training slide from a late February staff development session. The 2021-22 Equity session on Safe Spaces reminds teachers that “parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.”

“Teachers are often straddling this complex situation. In ECASD, our priority is supporting the student,” the professional development facilitator guide states. Teachers were encouraged to “Talk amongst yourselves!”

The lesson — that teachers know better than parents about what is best for their kids — is not sitting well with some community members.

“We are appalled that ECASD would display such blatant disregard for the parents and guardians of our community’s children. We are equally dismayed that current school district leadership would pressure teachers into breaking a social contract that we all know and understand—that parents and guardians hold primary responsibility and decision making for the welfare and care of their children,” said parents and school board candidates Nicole Everson, Corey Cronrath, and Melissa Winter in a joint statement.

The district’s training session is also legally suspect. A district court in 2020 issued a partial injunction against Madison Metropolitan School District’s policy allowing children of any age to transition to a different gender identity at school — without parental consent. The full case is now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents challenging the gender identity policy “that violates the rights of parents to make important healthcare decisions on their children’s behalf.” The policy includes the following provisions:

  • Children of any age can transition to a different gender identity at school, by changing their name and pronouns, without parental notice or consent.
  • District employees are prohibited from notifying parents, without the child’s consent, that their child has or wants to change gender identity at school, or that their child may be dealing with gender dysphoria.
  • District employees are even instructed to deceive parents by using the child’s legal name and pronouns with family, while using the different name and pronouns adopted by the child in the school setting.

It’s not clear whether the Eau Claire Area School District has a similar policy.

The school board candidates are demanding district administrators issue an apology to teachers for “placing them at odds with families and also to parents and guardians for breaking the trust and partnership that is critical for thriving students and a stellar school district.”

An apology doesn’t appear to be forthcoming. ECASD Superintendent Michael Johnson issued a statement to Empower Wisconsin asserting the district is upholding its responsibility to maintain an educational environment that is “equitable, safe and inclusive for all students.”

“Our staff often find themselves in positions of trust with our students. The staff development presentation shared extensive data and information to assist our staff members in our ongoing efforts to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all students,” Johnson said in the statement. “The ECASD prides itself on being a school district that makes all students feel welcome and safe in our schools.”

The superintendent said the staff training focused on data showing students who identify as non-heterosexual have a higher incidence rate of mental health issues than heterosexual students. But critics say a school’s commitment to “equity and inclusiveness” does not give license to educators to hide important information from parents and guardians.

Cronrath, Everson, and Winter are among seven candidates, including two incumbents, running for three open seats on the school board next month. The three jumped into the race because they were concerned about the eroding of parental rights in the district. They say Eau Claire schools’ “blatant disregard for parental rights and responsibilities” has been creeping into the district’s classrooms. The latest training session sends three very dangerous messages to parents and the wider community, the candidates assert.

1. Schools are in control of children, not parents and families—When you entrust your child into the walls of ECASD, you no longer have the right as a parent to be informed of major developments in your child’s school life. In fact, you must ‘earn it.’

2. Current Leadership is willing to pit teachers against parents—Open communication between the classroom and home has always been critical to healthy school communities and student development. ECASD is putting teachers in a difficult and dishonest position by instructing them to actively withhold information from parents.

3. What goes on in the walls of ECASD is privileged information—By indicating that information about your child is ‘knowledge that must be earned,’ ECASD is setting a dangerous precedent. If identity questions for your child can be hidden from you, is diet, curriculum, healthcare, inappropriate relationships, mental health concerns, etc. also no longer the business of parents? Just what are parents and guardians allowed to know and when?

The Republican-led state legislature passed a Parental Bill of Rights that would prohibit school policies that infringe on a parent’s or guardian’s role as the primary caregiver of their child. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat and the former state superintendent, is likely to veto the bill.

Eau Claire Area School District has a history of overreach. Last fall, school officials worked with the local health czar in removing a 14-year-old girl from school after someone in her class tested positive for Covid-19. The girl and her mom resisted, accusing authorities of abusing their powers. The county health director then sought a court order to have the girl forcibly removed from school.

Small-Town Wisconsin Schools Won’t Tell Parents If Their Children Identify As Transgender


Reported By Dan O’Donnell | OCTOBER 28, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/28/small-town-wisconsin-schools-wont-tell-parents-if-their-children-identify-as-transgender/

The Oshkosh Area School District in Oshkosh, Wis. will no longer inform parents if their children identify as transgender while at school.

“The Oshkosh Area School District is committed to fostering a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students,” Matthew Kaemmerer, the district’s director of pupil services, said in a recent memo to staff. “District staff members are no longer required to seek parental consent prior to honoring student requests to be called by their preferred name and/or pronouns.”

To officially change their names in the district’s computer system, students will still need to provide documentation of a legal name change. However, the new policy allows teachers and other district employees to treat students as members of the opposite sex without ever informing their parents that they are doing so.

“This change only impacts how a student who is transgender or gender nonconforming is referred to (name and/or pronouns) during school and school activities,” Kaemmerer explained in an email to parents. “District staff will continue to work directly with students who are transgender and gender nonconforming and their families to maintain ongoing communication.”

“This is outrageous,” said one Oshkosh parent. “So, if my son starts identifying as a girl at school but hides it from me, I will never know about it?”

Oshkosh is not a major urban area, where many people might expect to find far-left policies like this. It is a modest-sized Wisconsin town of 67,000 people. The school district oversees nearly 10,000 students, according to federal data. While the city of Oshkosh voted for Joe Biden in 2020, the surrounding county voted for Donald Trump by four points. The area is represented by Republicans and Democrats in state offices.

Last year, the Madison Metropolitan School District announced a nearly identical policy change and faced an immediate lawsuit from parents. A Dane County Circuit Court judge issued an injunction barring the district from enforcing its policy “in any manner that allows or requires District staff to conceal information or to answer untruthfully in response to any question that parents ask about their child at school, including information about the name and pronouns being used to address their child at school.” A final decision on the merits of the lawsuit is still pending, but in both Wisconsin courts and the federal judiciary, the right of parents to have a significant say in the education of their children is well-established.

In 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court in Meyer v. Nebraska struck down a law prohibiting the teaching of foreign languages in school. The court did so in large measure because the Nebraska legislature “has attempted materially to interfere with the calling of modern language teachers, with the opportunities of pupils to acquire knowledge, and with the power of parents to control the education of their own.” This concept of a fundamental right of parents to exercise control over the education of their children was affirmed two years later when the Supreme Court held in Pierce v. Society of Sisters that parents reserved the right to send their children to parochial schools.

“The child is not the mere creature of the state,” the high court explained. “Those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”

As recently as 2000, the Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville upheld this right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, declaring definitively that “the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause has a substantive component that provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests, including parents’ fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”

To make such decisions, parents obviously need to be informed of what their children are doing at school, and thus the Oshkosh Area School District’s deliberate attempt to withhold such pertinent information as the sex with which a child identifies represents a clear infringement of parents’ 14th Amendment rights. It also clearly violates the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which requires that “parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school.”

In spite of this, the Oshkosh Area School District’s new policy is just the latest in a disturbing trend of districts willfully keeping students’ transgender status from parents. Montgomery County Public Schools in Montgomery, Md. announced in 2019 it would no longer disclose to parents the sex with which their children identify at school, prompting a lawsuit from parents. As far back as 2016, the National Education Association’s Legal Guidance on Transgender Students’ Rights instructed teachers and school administrators to “not disclose a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to others, including other students, parents or guardians…unless required to do so by law or unless the student has agreed.”

This guidance isn’t just erroneous; it is patently unlawful and unconstitutional. Parents have a deep-rooted right to control and direct their children’s education, and in order to exercise this right, they must know information as fundamental as the sex their children assume while at school.

Dan O’Donnell is a talk show host with News/Talk 1130 WISN in Milwaukee, Wis. and 1310 WIBA in Madison, Wis., and a columnist for the John K. MacIver Institute.

Canadian tribunal rules that using ‘wrong’ pronouns violates human rights, awards $30K to trans-identified woman


Reported By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/canadian-tribunal-using-wrong-pronouns-violates-human-rights.html/

Pronouns, gender
Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

A Canadian human rights tribunal has ruled that a restaurant wrongfully fired an employee who demanded that the business use nonbinary pronouns, awarding the ex-employee $30,000. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal released a ruling last week in favor of Jessie Nelson, a former employee of Buono Osteria who prefers the pronouns of they/them. At issue was the restaurant using female pronouns for Nelson, with the business firing her and claiming that she had become too “militant” in the demand to be identified as nonbinary.

Tribunal Member Devyn Cousineau authored the opinion, concluding that the refusal to use Nelson’s preferred pronouns “amounted to discrimination.”

“All employees have the right to a workplace free of discrimination. Trans employees are entitled to recognition of, and respect for, their gender identity and expression. This begins with using their names and pronouns correctly,” wrote Cousineau.

“Like a name, pronouns are a fundamental part of a person’s identity. They are a primary way that people identify each other. Using correct pronouns communicates that we see and respect a person for who they are.”

The decision contrasted the actions of someone who uses a correct pronoun at first before accommodating a person by using the individual’s preferred pronoun and someone who intentionally refuses to use the preferred pronouns of an individual who identifies as nonbinary.

“I order Buono Osteria to include a statement in its employee policies that affirms every employee’s right to be addressed with their correct pronouns,” continued the tribunal. “I also order Buono Osteria to implement mandatory training for all staff and managers about human rights in the workplace. This training should be no less than two hours. I understand that Jessie Nelson has recommended a well‐regarded training provider and I encourage the restaurant to avail itself of this option.”

Tanner Hnidey, a Christian writer from Alberta, penned a column on his website denouncing the ruling as a rejection of objective truth and a disturbing restriction on free speech.

“Now it’s one thing for a person to think they are a different gender than they actually are. It’s one thing for a man to believe he’s plural when he’s singular in reality,” wrote Hnidey.

“It’s quite another thing to force us to believe what another believes; coercing us to say what others want us to say. And that’s precisely what the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled.”  

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Democrats Attempt To Erase The Words ‘He,’ ‘She,’ ‘Mother,’ And ‘Father’ From The House


Democrats Attempt To Erase The Words ‘He,’ ‘She,’ ‘Mother,’ And ‘Father’ From The House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to excise all references to either sex in House business to “honor all gender identities” and “promote inclusion and diversity.” On Monday, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a Rules Package for the 117th Congress, which Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern promise will be “the most inclusive in history.”

Congress is following in the illustrious example of companies like Twitter and educational institutions such as the University of Michigan in removing language that recognizes the two sexes from their work product and interpersonal communications.

This would mean replacing any instance of “he or she” with the grammatically incorrect colloquialism of “they” as a singular, or the unnecessarily long “such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner.” Further, “himself” or “herself” becomes “themself,” a word not recognized by several dictionaries, and acknowledged by the New Oxford Dictionary as “not widely accepted in standard English.”

Words such as “mother” and “father” would be replaced with “parent,” “aunt” and “uncle” with the awkward “parent’s sibling,” and “grandmother” and “grandfather” becomes “grandparent.” I wonder if Pelosi will bring her commitment to language policing to Twitter and remove “mother, grandmother” from her bio.

The insanity spread to the opening prayer, where Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver ended the opening prayer with “Amen and A-women.” Amen does not refer to males at all. It is a word from biblical Hebrew meaning “so be it.” It appears Cleaver,  in the middle of praying to a pantheistic or syncretistic god, didn’t have the cultural literacy to have ever understood the meaning of this basic word from context.

Democrats haven’t said whether references to “congressmen” and “congresswomen” will similarly be removed, nor if Pelosi will continue to be referred to as “Madam Speaker.”

The resolution deserves at least some credit for following its own ridiculous proposed rules, as any instance of singular personal pronoun use was replaced with “they” or “their,” shown under whistleblower protections.

The same bill promises to “give priority consideration to including in the plan a discussion of how the committee’s work will address issues of inequities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin.” How can Congress be expected to legislate “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,” as the new rules require, when they are not permitted to write in terms of sex?

These rules are not helping anyone, but are harming the specificity of language and the unique experiences and basic reality of the sexes in the name of inclusion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paulina Enck is an intern at the Federalist and current student at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter at @itspaulinaenck

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: