As I noted recently, fads aren’t always harmful things. Nehru jackets, lava lamps, and mood rings may have set you back a few bucks, but that was the extent of it. Some fads, like the various eating disorders that were with us in the 1970s, were recognized as dangerous and treated as mental health problems. Today, though, becoming transsexual is treated simply as a lifestyle decision.
But as Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, points out, “Trans is clearly identifiable as a fad, comparable to preceding fads, or ‘transmissible psychological diseases,’ like outbreaks of alleged multiple personality disorder, hysteria, self-mutilation, and anorexia. The typical victim is a young female with an underlying neurosis that seeks a socially acceptable form of expression. These forms of expression vary with the times.” Peterson goes on to say that the current trans fad will be viewed as we now view lobotomies.
These days, 5.1% of adults younger than 30 claim to be trans or nonbinary, and this is being used as a political cudgel by many with a nefarious agenda. In reality, a staggering 99.4% of the population does not have the physical traits that cause someone to become transgender, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, an LGBTQ advocacy group. The 0.6% of the adult population who are truly gender dysphoric – a condition that causes extreme distress – certainly deserve empathy and respect.
Unlike most fads, the trans variety is being promoted in our government schools, and many of them try to conceal the student’s condition from parents. In fact, as of now, 1,040 school districts across the country have adopted policies instructing or encouraging faculty and staff to keep students’ gender identities a secret from parents, according to Parents Defending Education. Those 1,040 districts include 18,335 schools and a whopping 10,712,558 students. It should come as no surprise that 593 of the districts are in California.
To put it bluntly, California is predominantly run by power-hungry extremist individuals who don’t give a rip about parents or the sanctity of the family unit, and it is very difficult for traditional moms and dads to exert power on the state level. Hence, the local school board is the place where parents can find allies in their quest to stave off the trans-missionaries. And in July, Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) in San Bernardino County, with 32,000 K-12 students, got the ball rolling. The district banned Pride flags in the classroom and requires that staff tell parents when a child is using a name or pronouns that don’t match the sex determined at birth.
It is very important to note that there is California Department of Education guidance but no state law mandating that schools should not alert parents if their child has determined he or she is transgender or nonbinary. Hence, that decision is to be made on the local level.
CVUSD’s action sent California Attorney General Rob Bonta into a righteous snit, and on August 4, he announced that he was opening a civil rights investigation into potential legal violations by the school district. The AG claims that the policy of informing parents if their children want different pronouns, use the opposite sex bathroom, or have considered self-harm or suicide is “outing” the child and should be protected by state law.
The unstated message conveyed by this letter suggests that the state cares more about children and their mental problems than their parents do.
And straight from the “No matter how cynical, I get, I just can’t keep up” file, at the same time Bonta pursues legal action against CVUSD, Gov. Gavin Newsom ludicrously announced at a press conference on August 14, “There is no state in America that supports local control and parental engagement like the state of California. No one comes close.”
California lawyer and Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Woodcrest) demanded Bonta provide a legal basis for his civil rights investigation, claiming it is designed to “chill the political activities of local school boards who disagree with the narrative of the ruling political party in Sacramento.”
In his published demand letter to Bonta, Essayli asked on what grounds the attorney general was opening his civil rights investigation and asserted that the California Department of Education’s suggestion that students possess a “legally cognizable privacy interest from their parents” is not backed by “any statutory or court authority supporting its position.”
It goes without saying that the teachers unions are livid over the turn of events in Chino. In fact, the California Teachers Association said that its local affiliate, Associated Chino Teachers (ACT), is “fighting back against discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ+ policies” recently adopted by CVUSD.
CTA explains, “With the assistance of CTA attorneys, ACT sent a cease-and-desist notice to the district as it was considering the two new policies. Now that they have been adopted, the union has filed an Unfair Practice Charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board, stating that the Pride/Flag policy could improperly restrict union speech and that CVUSD failed to collectively bargain with ACT before enacting the new policies.”
Other California districts are also on the move. As of now, the Murrieta School District, the Anderson Union High School District, and the Temecula Valley Unified School District have followed Chino’s lead. Orange Unified’s next school board meeting on Sept. 7 may very well see the district restore proper parent authority.
But if you are a parent who lives in an area where the state guidance on parental disclosure is followed, what can you do?
Get your kid out of the local public school if at all possible. Send him to a private school, move to a saner part of the state, or homeschool.
Perhaps if you have a child with legitimate gender issues, find like-minded parents and start a microschool. As Kerry McDonald, educational freedom maven, recently wrote, “I interviewed the cofounders of a Georgia microschool specifically designed for LGBTQ+ youth. The young people who attend this program felt unwelcomed in district schools, and increasingly silenced in them. At the microschool, they are able to grow and flourish as individuals, and their parents are thrilled to have found a learning environment that matches their needs and values.”
At the same time, McDonald talks about a Christian microschool in Massachusetts that has seen “enrollment triple in the past three years to over 70 students, in large part because parents don’t like the curriculum and messaging that their children are exposed to in government-run schools. These parents are thrilled to have found a learning environment that matches their needs and values.”
The biggest lesson here is that a one-size-fits-all education system stinks, especially when it’s run by agenda-driven radicals who pretend to have children’s best interests at heart. All parents take note.
Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.