Helping your child with math homework after school? Good idea. Reading to her before bed? Great.
Talking to her about the biological differences between a boy and a girl? And the damage caused by hormone therapies that only partially make someone resemble a member of the opposite sex and the irreversible surgeries that can often follow
That’s against school rules.
This fall, New Jersey’s department of education will be teaching young children in 2nd grade to ponder their "gender identity." True, young people can sometimes feel confused about their sexuality. But radical gender activists want children to believe that these emotions matter more than their biological sex and that their gender does not depend on biology.
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Activists also want children and educators to know that parents’ opinions on this subject do not matter.
New Jersey’s education agency has created lesson plans that separate the ideas of gender, which radicals claim is a choice, from biology, what we are born with. Yet as I explain in my book, Splintered: Critical Race Theory and the Progressive War on Truth, critical gender theory is a close relative of critical race theory. Both theories put personal feelings over facts. Feelings can change over time, though, especially among school-aged children.
Instruction about "gender identity" and unquestioning affirmations of subjective impressions of gender have drastic consequences. Hormone therapies and gender-related surgical procedures are life-altering decisions. Such treatments can lead to sterilization, changes to your physical appearance, mood swings, and alter your sexual organs.
Youth who report feeling confused about their sexuality also frequently report anxiety and depression. Pre-teens and teenagers are already riding an emotional roller coaster thanks to puberty. So "treating" a child with cross-sex hormones—estrogen for boys and testosterone for girls—is a serious matter. Such treatments are rash, at best. Research finds that when minors experience confusion about their sexuality, these feelings resolve on their own in 88-98 percent of cases.
Parents and family members are the most important people in a child’s life. They should be the first ones to whom teachers and school officials turn when educators spot depression in a child or that a minor is confused about their sexuality.
In New Jersey, though, as well as many other places around the country, school leaders are intentionally keeping information about a child’s chosen gender identity away from parents. A New Jersey Department of Education statement on transgender students says, "A school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity; parental consent is not required."
So if school officials encourage a minor child to assume a different gender identity and counsel them to begin medical treatments that delay physical development, they are sending a child down a dangerous path. Again, so-called gender-affirming treatments lead to changes in everything from body hair to bone density to changes in their sexual organs.
Imagine being a parent who discovers such decisions were made concerning their child without your knowledge.
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Americans should not accept the radical narrative that legislative proposals rejecting critical gender theory indoctrination are "don’t say gay" laws. Rather, some state lawmakers such as those in Florida have affirmed that a parent is a child’s primary caregiver and have a fundamental right to direct his or her upbringing. Legislators must require school officials to obtain parental permission for any medical procedure or counseling services for a minor student.
State lawmakers around the country are considering parent bills of rights that have nothing to do with censorship. These proposals have everything to do with making sure school employees cannot divide children from their parents. If children are suffering from depression and struggling to understand their biological sex, then he or she needs empathy and counseling—and parents should be at beginning, middle, and end of such responses.
Telling school leaders that they cannot keep secrets about a child from their parents is not censorship or discrimination. It is protection.
This piece originally appeared in Fox News