Minnesota has become ground zero for the issue due to its unique blend of folks who emanate “Minnesota Nice” but also tend to be politically progressive. Case in point: The Minnesota Department of Education formulated a toolkit for public schools which claims to “ensure a safe and supportive transition” for children who would like to become transgender.
However altruistic the kit may seem, the LGBTQ agenda remains clear as it takes advantage of the state’s polite but progressive atmosphere and plucks authority from parents while pushing the myth that gender is fluid and that transgenderism is healthy for kids.
The 11-page, non-binding toolkit for “Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” shows teachers how to treat students who might be exploring becoming or already identify as transgender, trumping parental rights and posing serious issues for First Amendment advocates. (Not to mention, for a state whose high schools rank 27 out of 50 in terms of performance, Minnesota may want to consider prioritizing education over social issues.)
Instead of encouraging parents to do what’s best for their family, the toolkit tells parents what to do, encouraging them to show “acceptance and support of their child’s gender identity,” particularly as it relates to their child’s performance in school and they should not “assume a student’s name or pronoun,” but rather should “ask the student and use the requested name and pronouns.”
“When students are referred to by the wrong pronoun by peers or school staff, students may feel intimidated, threatened, harassed or bullied. School staff can ensure a more respectful environment for all students when efforts are made to correct the misuse of pronouns, as well as names, in student records.
Compelling students and teachers to use specific pronouns borders on violating First Amendment free speech rights. What if students and teachers don’t? The guide says the student could be violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The toolkit says kids who don’t feel comfortable with this will be ostracized and will not receive equal treatment: “Privacy objections raised by a student in interacting with a transgender or gender nonconforming student may be addressed by segregating the student raising the objection provided that the action of the school officials does not result in stigmatizing the transgender and gender nonconforming student.” The First Amendment implications here should trump political correctness, and yet they do not.
As much as the LGBTQ community would like to portray the transgender issue as one of progression and societal enlightenment, it’s actually quite unhealthy to encourage this in children who aren’t ready or able to make irreversible decisions about gender. The very idea that gender is fluid is not a reality-based, research-supported, scientifically validated concept. As a friend said recently out of sheer exasperation, neither the government nor parents can be assigned gender or sex. It’s innate. It’s what a person possesses by virtue of chromosomes. Anything else is somewhere between unicorns and gobbledygook — a lie that the forces of progressivism, on a constant campaign against biological realities, push in the never-ending culture wars.
The transgender toolkit the Minnesota Department of Education has embraced reflects all that can go wrong when “Minnesota Nice” collides with progressive politicians. It demonstrates the authoritarian tendencies of a system which should be prioritizing education instead, and it ignores completely how poorly this may affect the health of a child suffering gender confusion.
Nicole Russell is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist in Washington, D.C., who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator’s Young Journalist Award.
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