Is This a New Form of Abuse?
According to a new directive which the State of Michigan Board of Education is hoping to put in place in the near future, a student may choose their own gender without the school being required to inform their parents.
“Picking their own gender” may sound like a strange concept to some. But in this modern world, where more and more people are realizing that genders are not quite as black and white as previously assumed, this is becoming more and more commonplace. But the fact that it is happening in a school, where the choices are being made by minors without the consent of their parents? It’s leading some to the conclusion that this may in fact be child abuse.
The recommendations were developed after several Michigan school districts sought guidance from the state regarding how they should handle the exclusion and discrimination of transgender students. And civil liberties groups are saying that what the Board of Education has done is the only fair way to handle the situation.
The result was this newest proposal, which would allow transgender students to use which ever bathroom aligns with their own gender identity. In addition to picking the gender they believe they align with, students would also be allowed to select which pronoun school staff use when addressing them. And to top it all off, the school may not share this information with the child’s parents unless the child provides their permission.
But according to the American College of Pediatricians, “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.” In a report released by the ACP entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children”, statistics are explained which backs the ACP’s position on this matter.
For example, a survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force of 6,450 transgender people revealed that suicide rates are 20 times higher among adults who undergo sex-reassignment surgery and use hormone therapy to induce a physical sex-change.
In addition, a report compiled by the World Health Organization reveals that 50 percent of transgender youth attempt suicide at some point, and that individuals who struggle with “gender dysphoria,” have higher rates of drug abuse, unemployment struggles, and homelessness.
This is a contentious issue indeed. Many people feel on both sides feel very strongly about this issue, and so it will not be a subject that is quickly and quietly resolved. One thing to remember is that while these are recommendations, they are not laws. Each school district will still have a choice as to whether or not they adopt any or all of these policies, or disregard them in favor of other solutions.