Does your child have issues with gender dysphoria? Are they identifying as a different gender at school and asking teachers to use their preferred pronouns? Do you think this is something you, as their mother or father, should have some control over?
Check your parental privilege, say school administrators in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
In a letter to parents on Oct. 22, the Oshkosh Area School District — saying it was “committed to doing what is best for students and fostering a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment for all” as well as “partnering with families to support the unique needs of every student” — announced it would no longer ask for parental consent if their child changed their gender pronouns or name in the classroom environment.
“The District recently changed a section of administrative guideline 2260E that required parental consent in order for district staff to use a student’s preferred name or gender pronouns if they differed from the student’s biological sex assigned at birth,” read the letter from Matthew Kaemmerer, the district’s director of pupil services.
“District staff members are no longer required to seek parental consent prior to honoring student requests to be called by their preferred name and/or pronouns.”
“While we understand that there are varying perspectives related to gender identity, we know that in order to put students first we must acknowledge and support each student’s unique needs,” the letter continued.
“In making this change our goal is to empower students to advocate for themselves, while ensuring that our classrooms and schools are places where all students are able to be their true selves. It is our hope that by providing students with the support they need at school they will be able to have those same conversations at home and with those around them if they haven’t already.”
Three days earlier, Kaemmerer sent a similar letter to district employees regarding the new transgender student policies.
Notice that just went out to all school district employees in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Parents are an afterthought, even for issues as serious as a child changing their gender identity. pic.twitter.com/mPbOc15v2t
— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) October 29, 2021
“That’s something that we’ve reviewed and have found some difficulty with sometimes with staff engaging with students,” OASD superintendent Bryan Davis said, according to WLUK-TV. “We really want to make sure that we’re advocating for our students and with our students.”
Information wasn’t sent to parents until the change was fully implemented — three days after the notice was sent to district employees about the change to the transgender student policy.
“It was sent to the staff and it was not sent to the parents, and I guess I would ask myself, ‘Why would you not inform the parents?’” Oshkosh resident Chad Radtke told WLUK. “That seems like the first thing I would do!”
“It was just another sign that things are going in the wrong direction,” Radtke said. “From my perspective, and it’s hard to see it any other way, almost as if they’re deliberately riling up the parents to see how far they can push things; how many things they can kinda sneak past.”
Oshkosh city councilman Aaron Wojciechowski, however, said not allowing parents prior knowledge or input regarding what their minor children were doing in regard to their gender identity in public schools that their tax dollars pay for was important for the “comfort” and “safety” of their kids.
“Someone’s identity and their expression is so important to their core values and who they are, and I think this is important because now they have that comfort, that safety that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Wojciechowski said.
School officials tried to make clear that this didn’t mean they wouldn’t inform parents of their child’s decision to start using different pronouns or changing their gender identity. Not at all, Superintendent Davis told WLUK.
“It’s actually just the opposite of that,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for our kids to feel valued and to open up in conversations and for our staff to be able to validate that, and many students need support in these difficult conversations, being able to engage with their parents and family members.”
The parents would be told. They just had no say in it anymore, that’s all. See? No big deal! The school would do the right thing and open up conversations with their parents to explain why they shouldn’t have objections anymore.
Erika Sanzi, outreach director for Parents Defending Education, pointed out the hypocrisy of the policy when speaking to the Daily Caller.
“Oshkosh Schools likely require parental consent to give a Tylenol to a student at school. What school officials fail to understand, it seems, is that parental rights do not disappear when parents send their children to school — the very reason the school has authority over the child is because of parental consent,” Sanzi said.
“Concealing information from parents, or worse, deceiving them, is entirely at odds with that delegation of authority.”
Meg Kilgannon of the Family Research Council also noted the acetaminophen paradox.
“Deliberately concealing this information from parents, when those same parents would be consulted over the administration of Tylenol or permission to go on a field trip, is beyond outrageous,” Kilgannon said.
“This one of the many reasons we are seeing sustained pushback at school board meetings across the country.”
And make no mistake: This is is deliberately concealing information from parents. They may or may not eventually be told — the policy was only implemented less than two weeks ago, after all, and we haven’t seen how it will play out — but the assumption is that parental guidance for their child is unwarranted, unnecessary and problematic.
Once the student discloses it to school, the school will be there for “support in these difficult conversations” — and after all, the parents don’t get to have the final say.
These policies are of questionable constitutionality and again raise questions regarding recognizing cases that might constitute rapid-onset gender dysphoria without professional psychological or medical intervention.
More importantly, however, it’s a school board unequivocally saying that parental value judgments about gender identity not only don’t matter, they’re wrong and any decisions regarding them are being taken out of parents’ hands. This is the madness of transgender ideology: The school knows best. It’ll not only teach your kids, it’ll teach you, dear hidebound parent.
Thank heavens they’re around, no?
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