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  • Jules Mayfield

Washington Parents Are the Last to Learn Their Child’s “Preferred Pronouns”



Lawsuits are being filed against public schools all over the country as the rights of parents are being pushed to the side in order to conceal the preferred pronouns and new transgender identities of children all across America. According to Education Week, “Over the last three years, parents in at least six states have sued school districts over policies the districts say support transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary students (Pendharkar, 2023)." The efforts made to sue public schools for such things usually don’t make it very far due to state policy and legislature. If you live in Washington State, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to find that informing parents of their child’s gender transition or new preferred pronouns is simply against school policy. Any teacher that breaks this policy in Washington State will likely lose their job.


According to research done by the Williams Institute, 1.09% of Washington children between ages 13-17 identified as transgender in 2022 (Herman et al., 2022). That’s over twice as many as the 0.7% of trans-identifying Washington children they found in their 2017 study (Herman et al., 2017). In order to understand why so many Washington children are falling prey to gender ideology, it’s important to understand that it is being presented to them at school on a regular basis from a very young age. For example, the Seattle Public School website expresses that they are in full support of teaching children about transgender identity and expression to the extent that they even share samples of videos and lessons intended to teach gender ideology to children from kindergarten to 5th grade (Seattle Public Schools, 2022). There are literally hundreds of books relating to gender ideology spread all throughout the Seattle Public School libraries (Seattle Public School, 2022) and that doesn’t include books brought directly into classrooms by teachers and other LGBTQ+ organizations. What used to be the Gay Straight Alliance is now called the "Gender and Sexuality Alliance" and they are no longer only in high schools. Some Washington middle schools also have the GSA available as a resource for confused children as well. Gender ideology is written into the school curriculum and ingrained into everyday life at school to the point that every child will be encouraged to question their sex before they hit puberty.


According to the Washington State School Directors Association, the school employees are to set up a meeting with any transgender-identifying child as soon as they are made aware of the child’s decision to go by a different name or change of pronouns. The purpose of the meeting is to ask the child if they need accommodation for their transition and to ask the child if they want their new identity kept from the parents. Policy 3211 states “Before communicating with parents of transgender or gender expansive students, it’s important to ask the student how school employees should refer to the student when talking with their parents and guardians. For families who are supportive, using the student’s name and pronoun could be affirming for the student. For parents who are not supportive, or who are not aware of the student’s transition at school, referring to their name and pronoun could be very dangerous. The district will not condone the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity or gender expression, or inappropriate release of information regarding a student’s transgender or gender-expansive status” (Gender-Inclusive Schools, 2019).


We encourage all Washington parents to pay close attention to what is happening at their child’s school. Children in the Washington public school system will be introduced to gender ideology at school, regardless of whether or not parental authorities are informed. Even if your child’s teacher wants to keep you informed, they are not allowed to release any information about your child’s gender identity or expression without the child’s permission. Every school employee must affirm your child’s new transgender identity according to policy 3211 which states “The school must use the name and gender by which the student identifies on all other records, including but not limited to school identification cards, classroom seating charts, athletic rosters, yearbook entries, diplomas, directory information” (Gender-Inclusive Schools [procedure], 2019). You can look through your child’s backpack, social media and make an appearance on campus, but you cannot depend on their school to let you know if your child is heading down the path of gender transition.


True inclusiveness does not exclude parents or disregard parental consent. Nobody should ever feel excluded from their children's education. Teachers being instructed to keep secrets from parents is wrong, especially when it involves medical interventions that come with severe ramifications. Allowing a child to adopt a secret identity at school is not the way to teach acceptance. All this does is instill distrust in parents that their son or daughter may be living a secret day-to-day life. And in turn, it teaches children that they cannot trust the adults in their lives. Gays Against Groomers promotes the idea that in order to foster an education system that benefits everyone, it is going to take unity amongst people who wish to lead by example in their communities. It is necessary to optimize communication between students, parents, teachers, school boards, those who make the decisions, and their respective communities. As standardized test scores keep plummeting lower and lower, an entire generation of boys and girls may depend on it.


REFERENCES

Pendharkar, Eesha. “Parents Are Suing Schools over Pronoun Policies. Here’s What You Need to Know.” Education Week, Education Week, 15 May 2023,


Herman, Jody L, et al. “How Many Adults and Youth Identify as Transgender in the United States?” Williams Institute, June 2022, williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Trans-Pop-Update-Jun-2022.pdf.


Herman, Jody L, Andrew Flores, and Taylor Brown. “Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States.” AGE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO IDENTIFY AS TRANSGENDER IN THE UNITED STATES, Jan. 2017, williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Age-Trans-Individuals-Jan-2017.pdf.


Seattle Public Schools. “K-5 Gender Books, Lessons, and Videos.” Seattle Public Schools, 25 Mar. 2022, www.seattleschools.org/departments/health-education/lgbtq-programs-curriculum-and-support/list-of-books-by-grade/.


Seattle Public Schools. “Library Services.” Seattle Public Schools, 3 Mar. 2023, spscatalog.seattleschools.org/cataloging/servlet/handlebasicsearchform.do.


“Gender-Inclusive Schools (Procedure).” Washington State School Directors Association, 1 July 2019, wssda.app.box.com/s/1c2bjp451nezhbdjvyxl2fqcwvuwdxaa.


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