Transgendered Students Accommodated at Expense of Common Sense

Sterling Middle School, Quincy, MA

Sterling Middle School, Quincy, MA

I have to place this in the insanity files.  Last week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a 11-page document (see below) about how public schools were to handle transgendered students.  The document: Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools: Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment on the Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity provides little nuggets of *wisdom* like these:

…a school should accept a student’s assertion of his or her gender identity when there is “consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity, or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity.” If a student’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior meets this standard, the only circumstance in which a school may question a student’s asserted gender identity is where school personnel have a credible basis for believing that the student’s gender-related identity is being asserted for some improper purpose.

In most situations, determining a student’s gender identity is simple. A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of her life, should be respected and treated like a girl. So too with a student who says he is a boy and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of his life. Such a student should be respected and treated like a boy.

So basically if a student who is a boy consistently claims to be a girl.  That is how they are to treat that boy unless they can somehow prove he has some improper purpose.  “Consistent and uniform” isn’t really defined here… so how long does this boy have to make these claims?  Over several months?  Years? Weeks?  Who knows?

Gee there isn’t anything that could possibly go wrong there!

But the Department states that the statute doesn’t require this either as long as there is other evidence that it is part of their core identity.  They could flip flop and that would be ok as long as…

Confirmation of a student’s asserted gender identity may include a letter from a parent, health care provider, school staff member familiar with the student (a teacher, guidance counselor, or school psychologist, among others), or other family members or friends. A letter from a social worker, doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider stating that a student is being provided medical care or treatment relating to her/his gender identity is one form of confirmation of an asserted gender identity. It is not, however, the exclusive form upon which the school or student may rely. A letter from a clergy member, coach, family friend, or relative stating that the student has asked to be treated consistent with her/his asserted gender identity, or photographs at public events or family gatherings, are other potential forms of confirmation.

How schools are to handle such students.

  • Use whatever name or pronoun that the student identifies with.
  • The birth name if they register for the school under their chosen name is to be considered confidential.
  • They are not even allowed to share with parents/guardians with what “gender identity” their son or daughter uses during the school day without the student’s permission.  “School personnel should speak with the student first before discussing a student’s gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student’s parent or guardian,”
  • Gender markers on student records are to reflect the student’s “gender identity” not “assigned sex.”
  • “In all cases, the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.”  Now they can find alternative accommodations like a unisex restroom, etc. if the transgendered student is uncomfortable, not if those around that student are uncomfortable.  Those students are the ones who will need to see counseling – “School administrators and counseling staff should work with students to address the discomfort and to foster understanding of gender identity, to create a school culture that respects and values all students.”
  • All students should be allowed to play whatever sport or intermural activity that is consistent with their “gender identity.”
  • Schools are also encouraged to adopt gender-neutral clothing policies.

I can see this policy as being ripe for abuse, and I would not want my children placed in circumstances such as these.  It is amazing to me that what was considered a psychological disorder not too long ago is now practically being celebrated.  Your biology, not your feelings, determine what gender you are.  This is something that was considered common sense.

 

Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity

Photo Credit: S. Swonk (CC By-SA 3.0)

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Comments

  1. Andrew says

    Shane,
    “Insanity files”!? You are probably one of the most ignorant people I have ever known! Have you ever talked to someone who is transgender? I am transgender and let me tell you- it sucks more than anyone could ever know. I would never wish this upon anyone, except maybe you so you can get of your bigoted world and stop hating on the LGBT community

  2. SJ says

    Yes, it is complete insanity. What if a child believes he is a giraffe? Should he be treated accordingly? Or what if he believes that he is a tree? Should he be placed outside and given plenty of sunshine?

    Modern man is all about the idolatry of feeling. There is no such thing as objective reality or truth–only how we *feel* about things. The ironic thing, of course, is that Satan knows very well that there is objective truth, but he’s adept at convincing people otherwise.

    Folks in bygone generations had so much more sense overall. We have become a society of fools. Nevertheless, the good thing is that we have God on our side, so we must keep standing strongly for the truth.

    • Mark says

      The very fact that you compare someone feeling and knowing that they belong to the opposite gender with a child believing that they are a giraffe or a tree shows just how immature and incapable you are of being a sympathetic, human, being. Transgendered people are not child-like, nor are they imagining that they are the opposite gender, they know what they are.

      It’s a pretty big judgment for a Christian to tell these people who you don’t even know, who they are or what they are. What’s more disgusting is that you claim to have God on your side on this, despite the fact that if you believe that God is the creator, then you have to come to terms with the fact that God created these transgendered people, which to all intents and purposes just shows how illogical the idea of God is, much less one that is on your side.

  3. sarah r. says

    Transgender-friendly policies have existed in a growing numbeo of jurisdictions for years now, and in some cases decades. If they were really so “ripe for abuse,” these policies should have led to some examples of what we should be afraid of, right? Or just one example, really. Because in reality, there’s no incentive for a kid to “pretend” to be transgender, while the potential negative consequences are varied and extreme. If you knew anything about this subject before writing about it, you wouldn’t have to rely on “common sense,” which is often code for “i dont want to learn anything about the topic at hand but I really want to write about it, so gut feelings ought to be enough.”

    • Andrew says

      Thank you for saying this. I spoke (er, wrote) out of anger when I read this article but your words are well thought out and thought provoking.

  4. says

    In what way does this gender equality nullify laws prohibiting rape, assault, stalking and/or public indecency/disturbance?

    Because, that’s the insinuation, isn’t it? If it is, then come out and explicitly explain how this measure actually makes it okay to break these laws. I get that you think it’s icky, that you disagree with the APA and the AMA on how to work with trans kids, but that doesn’t explain to me how this gender equality nullify laws prohibiting rape, assault, stalking and/or public indecency/disturbance.

    You’re making it sound as if some dude is going to wake up one morning, slap a wig on his head, walk naked into the girls dressing room and the school admin will have their hands tied.

    Houston, TEXAS has this policy. Dallas, TEXAS has this policy. Austin, TEXAS has this policy. In fact, school districts across America in both conservative and liberal area have this policy. Out of all these examples, after having had these laws on the books for years, name just three real world example of the horrors you insinuate will result from this equality measure.

    Can’t do it? No? What, then, does that say about this article?

  5. Deanna Pearce says

    Shane, lets discuss your latest gynecological examination. Oh, is that personal? Your status as a true male and the medical test and psychological tests to confirm or deny your sexes your gender are HIPPA and anyone releasing medical information about you without your permission is illegal. So if you believe it is a lack of common sense to abide by HIPPA laws then why don’t you give us a report on your most recent gynecological And prostate exams so we know who we are really talking to.