By John Klar
A September 2 draft revision of Vermont State Board of Education guidelines would provide confidential gender identity and transition counseling to public school students.
The proposed new policy rests on top of a framework of existing policies which specifically forbid teachers to share gender identity discussions with parents without the student’s consent.
These state policies seem to promote a form of pseudo-abstinence for youth, but also embrace controversial theories about gender identity.
For example, the August, 2021 Essential Topics in Sexual Health Education developed by the Vermont Sexual Health Stakeholders Group – a collaboration of Planned Parenthood, trans advocacy group Outright Vermont, the Vermont Dept. of Health, the Agency of Education, and others – recommends children be guided to select their own values and goals regarding whether and when to engage in sexual activities.
Among those acceptable values and goals is transgenderism. A teaching known by its advocates as “queer theory” posits that there are an infinite number of elective “gender identities.” Queer theory is being taught to young Vermont schoolchildren.
Vermont public schools have concluded that transgenderism is a concrete, concluded determination to be unleashed upon children. This relatively recent ideological view says children can decide from an early age that their “gender” differs from their biological sex. Not all scientists and psychologists agree:
As the trans rights movement has gained mainstream attention in the past half decade or so, some have debated the legitimacy of the marginalized group’s experiences. Some have controversially argued that teaching children about trans issues is confusing, that children shouldn’t be allowed to transition, or that doing so perpetuates damaging gender stereotypes….
It is confusing to teach kindergarten children about a gender spectrum, when even adults can’t agree on the “science,” and proponents have not finished spinning the dial on the range of gender selections. Transgenderism differs from homosexuality in that children can change their minds later about sexual orientation, but gender hormones and/or surgeries are becoming increasingly common, and are irreversible. This raises the stakes for all involved.
Opponents argue that gender dysphoria can have psychological root causes that require careful clinical assessment. They say children may grow out of it. They say children lack the cognitive development to make such irrevocable life-changing decisions. One pediatric neurosurgeon with 35 years of experience recently observed that biological sex is not a social construct “assigned” at birth:
Sexual identity is established at conception, it is binary (we are either male or female), and it is permanent. Sexual identity is recognized at birth. Sexual identity never changes and can never change. ….Gender ideology is a political ideology, not medical science, and it has no place in medical practice. The medical profession needs to renounce gender medicine and the ideologues who practice it, and we need to protect confused and suffering children from physical harm at the hands of their deeply misguided doctors.
One early study suggested that the root cause of gender dysphoria might be the mental health issues of these children’s mothers (….for the boys who identified as girls, 53% of their mothers had Borderline Personality Disorders). Other studies have shown for decades that 65-94% of children eventually cease to identify as transgender (called “desistance”).
The rapid, clustered explosion of gender dysphoria in children, especially adolescents, led a Brown University study to hypothesize that gender dysphoria could be due to peer pressure or online influences, something called “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” The study was initially pulled due to ideological pushback by activists, but subsequently a revised study was approved which concluded:
….the findings suggest that not all AYAs [adolescents and young adults] presenting at these vulnerable ages are correct in their self-assessment of the cause of their symptoms and some AYAs may be employing a drive to transition as a maladaptive coping mechanism. It may be difficult to distinguish if an AYA’s declining mental health is occurring due to the use of a maladaptive coping mechanism, due to the worsening of a pre-existing (or onset of a new) psychiatric condition, or due to conflict with parents. …. Further study of maladaptive coping mechanisms, psychiatric conditions and family dynamics in the context of gender dysphoria and mental health would be an especially valuable contribution to better understand how to treat youth with gender dysphoria.
Vermont public schools are neither waiting for further studies nor pausing recommendation of gender hormone “therapies.” They have unilaterally decided that children should be free to embrace their “preferred” genders.
Vermont’s September 2, 2022 Draft State Board of Education Manual of Rules and Practices is being amended to guarantee that “access to professional counseling on gender identity and gender transition shall be made available in a confidential manner to students in each school.” (p. 20). The State’s August 2021 “Essential Topics in Sexual Health Education” provides:
Prepare for disclosures from gender and sexual minority youth who may “come out” to you during and after class. Ensure that you do not disclose this information to others (their parents or other teachers and students) without their consent. (p. 5) ….LGBTQ+ youth are at higher risk for negative sexual and other health outcomes. It is important to recognize that this is often due to the systems, beliefs, and behaviors that marginalize them, not due to their identities in and of themselves. (p. 6).
According to the State of Vermont, it is other people’s “beliefs and behaviors” that cause unspecified “negative sexual outcomes” for transgender youth, even as science and studies cannot even ascertain yet how many supposed genders there are, or whether transgenderism in children is transitory and influenced by social peer groups. Proposed House Bill 659 would even authorize secret gender hormone therapies for children of any age, without parental consent.
“Essential practices” is quite thorough, including advising children how to employ uncommon “dental dams”:
Dental dams may not be a commonly used barrier method. They are still vitally important for young people to learn about. ….dams can be used for oral sex on a vulva or oral sex on an anus; saran wrap can be used in place of a dental dam. (p. 22).
Vermont “stakeholders” have decided that being educated about how to use saran wrap for oral sex on an anus is “vitally important for young people.” They have also decided to reeducate teachers about language.
In “Full Spectrum: Educators’ Guide to Implementing LGBTQ+ Inclusive Sex Ed,” teachers are advised to use the term “people with uteruses” rather than “girls” (p. 5); that it is exclusive of trans students to refer to “biological sex” instead of the phrase “sex assigned at birth” (derived from unproved, controversial gender “theory”), and “male” and “female” reproductive systems rather than “body-first language” to describe anatomy (“people with penises” and “people with vaginas”) (p. 6). This is termed “developmentally-informed content,” and teachers are instructed to “Ask students to “suspend their disbelief” for situations where they might have to role play or analyze a situation as a different gender or sexual identity.” (p. 5).
Vermont’s “askable adult” program advocates for adults (“one who is approachable and easy for children and youth to talk to about anything that is on their mind”) to interact with children outside of family contact:
Askable adults are committed to having strong, effective, and affirming relationships with youth using positive communication to develop trust and connectedness.
Askable adults often have a similar racial/ethnic or sexual identity as the young person, or common background experience.
Youth want to talk to adults about their everyday lives and school and family struggles. They are eager to connect about drugs and alcohol; sexuality and gender; relationships, love and sex; abuse and divorce; college, jobs, money, cars and life skills.
For many Vermont parents, having their children role play to imagine themselves as a different gender or as gay is a bit more avant-garde than is “vitally important” for children. Instead it may seem like sexual grooming, especially when there is no stated age limit for this experimental sexual indoctrination, and adults who have “similar sexual identity” are encouraged to talk confidentially with other people’s children about sex, drugs, and gender.
This is illegal.
As are minor children voting.
As is allowing prostitution.
As is allowing retail marijuana. – (LIKE IT OR NOT).
As is giving citizens money based upon their sexual “identity”, race, etc.
As is allowing open borders into the U.S.
Will it finally be contested by attorneys – or will it continue to be more important for them to chase ambulances as opposed to having a hand in saving humanity and abiding by their oath to DEFEND THE US CONSTITUTION WHICH IS THE LAW OF THIS LAND!
Completely demented. May God have mercy on those pushing this. Amen.
Looking at “Essential Topics In Sexual Health Education”, the listed group of authors contains several persons with female names, however not one person with a male name. Just an observation.
Excellent article and overview of the insanity being foisted on our children and families. Given the obvious mental health issues of teachers both in VT and throughout the country who have been intent on indoctrinating their students into adopting LBGTQ beliefs and practices, are we really supposed to allow them to continue doing this and keeping it from others? If a child was suicidal would the parents not be told? If a child needed Tylenol a parent would have to give permission! And now children will be groomed to adopt a LBGTQ lifestyle and parents kept in the dark?
Things need to change immediately.I doubt they will however given our leftist government in VT. Take your children out of our public schools before they are irredeemably damaged!
Isn’t this a convincing argument to emancipate parents from their indenture to a monolithic service provider providing service they don’t really want? Shouldn’t the monies collected go directly into a families’ schooling account so they can buy what they want. It doesn’t become goverment money spent FOR citizens it becomes citizens money held/and distributed by government to families.
There are going to be a lot of angry, regretful people in about 10-15 years who were encouraged by this social contagion hysteria to sterilize & mutilate their bodies with chemicals and surgery before they even entered or finished puberty. Already there are a few speaking out, and you guessed it, they get vilified & shut down for “hate.” Vast portions of American society effectively have collective cluster B personality disorders, they’re abusing children in particular with all this gender nonsense, and there’s no polite way to deal with them. A lot of them seem to be teachers. It’s mostly white, liberal women, who, by the way, have a 53% rate of diagnosable mental health issues vs 27-28% in conservatives & moderates respectively. Lower for men across the board. 2020 Pew Research confirmed.
I think it speaks more to the fact that libs are a little more open to talking about their mental health, while repubs may not want to share that info with a random pollster on the phone or however they did the study. It is an interesting study to read too!
It’s Pew Research. You can be sure they controlled for that. If not, then as you suggest, even more women have mental health issues. We should take this into consideration, given the statistics above concerning mothers with BPD transitioning their sons, for example. I’m going to bet that very few of these mothers are not liberal, lefty women. 😉
I wish the author would use quotations for what is just lifted from an article [and also edited to embellish the authors point] and what is his opinion or own words. I would love to agree with you on this topic John, and there is plenty of evidence out there to support your side, but its tough in a poorly written and citated article.
This is totally illegal. Parents have EVERY right to know what is going on with their children. Not only that, but parents will be able to call DCF and report child abuse by teachers et al to their child. The state cannot and should not have ANY say in a child’s life. Therefore, they are complicit should any harm come to a child in their custody. Seems to me all parents should be pulling their kids out of school and sending them to private schools. Taxpayers have every right to say we are not behind this and with withhold our education taxes!!!
No ! This is madness. The most descriptive term for this is evil. There are now a lot more of us who have awakened to this crap. All these “committees” are trying to solve problems without the advantage of knowing what the problems are in detail. Speak first and walk it back later when no one is paying attention. This also represents the legislature’s total lack of accountability by pushing the difficult decisions off to unelected and biased groups.
Start at the top with clear thinking; there are two genders and they cannot be changed. Anyone who thinks so should be banded forever from contact with children in schools, and probably belongs in a mental health facility.
Ed, I agree…waiting for the day schools like Randolph and other wokester jokesters eliminate Spanish and French from the curriculum because they have specific masculine and female genders for every noun…
This article is the first I’ve ever seen that took the time to explain the difference between hard-science (observable, physical traits, ie: Sex) and social constructs (learned experience ie: gender). I believe for us who oppose what is happening in our schools to appear credible, we must recognize this distinction and not conflate these two very different terms. This hard science is the very basis of logic, and frankly, all we have.
If you notice within the LGTBXDwhatever community, they themselves no longer refer to themselves as “tranSEXUALS”, but “transGENDER”.
Is this an admission?
Excuse me while I have a rapid onset gag reflex.
I keep waiting for the headline that says test scores are increasing, guess it won’t happen with this administration
Just finished the book “Irreversible Damage” by Abigail Shrier. Everyone in the Vermont legislature and all school board members should be required to read this highly informative book.
The LGBTQ+ agenda is mentally and physically destroying vulnerable young children. Gender dysphoria is the only disease where the patient does the diagnosing and the doctor is forced to comply. Even to the point of surgical mutilation. Medical professionals who refuse to go along with this madness are losing their license to practice. It’s like telling a young girl with anorexia that she is correct with her distorted view of her body.
If there was every a time for an uprising it is now. We cannot let this go further.
Cultural Marxism. Break down social order, seize control.
I have to give written consent each year for each child to the school to provide Motrin, Tylenol, or skin cream if ever needed… But all this is to be done without even a whisper… This truly is a failed State.
Next, they will take children away from parents if they do not comply or agree. Likely never to see those children again. Appears clear UVM and VT Education are Hellbent on mutilating children’s minds and bodies. They have plans and people in place to make sure a parent has no idea or control over what they are doing to the children. Only Satan and his followers hatch and manage such plans against children.
And they will take children away from parents. And if a parent complains to a school board that parent could get arrested and put in jail for 4 years. All legal according to these progressives because voters either didn’t know about all the repercussions there would be or were not informed, but too bad —it’s too late. Mary
Should have remained the Republic of Vermont.
According to “Continuing Best Practices for Schools Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students’ put out by The Vermont Agency of Education ,,Schools can have 2 files for each student. One file parents of the student can read but the other file is strictly confidential and parents have no right to view their child’s record. This is outrageous. Vermont children are not safe in Vermont schools. Schools have no right to keep student’s information from parents.
Most people are not aware of what the schools are doing.
This presumption that schools are in charge of educating our kids is the linchpin of the delusion network being foisted upon us. This needs to be examined. Voters need to decide…is this what we want?
Great article John. Thank you! It’s now linked-to on EducationTransparencyVT.org.
Schools shouldn’t be teaching about sex to pre-pubescent children, who wouldn’t otherwise ever think about sex. To confuse young, innocent minds with ideologically-driven material is child abuse.
Nor should schools be teaching techniques for achieving sexual pleasure to pubescent or even adolescent children. To take advantage of impressionable, rebellious children who are going through a natural process of finding themselves, is mental kidnapping (i.e., brainwashing).
The teachers colleges have been indoctrinating teachers and school administrators with this stuff for years. Unless you live in a school district like Springfield where the school board is actively unwoke, the best solution at this time is to get your children or grandchildren out of the public schools!
What an excellent description of the Vermont public school monopoly by vcurtishuntergmailcom – “a convincing argument to emancipate parents from their indenture to a monolithic service provider…”
In other words, School Choice – that all Vermont parents should have access to the State’s Tuition voucher that lets them choose the school (public, independent, or religious) they believe best meets the needs of their children, as they already can in 90 of the State’s school districts.
Vermont’s public schools have demonstrated that they are dangerous places. From lockdowns to bullying to social indoctrination. School Choice is an immediate resolution to this dystopia, no matter what your sensibilities. Choose your poison.
I want to remind VDC readers yet again – if your children are in grades 7 thru 12, you already have the right to petition your school board for the State’s tuition voucher listed below.
Vermont Agency of Education: The 2022-2023 Average Announced Tuition of Union 7th-12th Grade Schools is $17,278.00.
And parents have the following statutory authority to request this voucher.
16 V.S.A. § 822 School district to maintain public high schools or pay tuition
(c)(1) A school district may both maintain a high school and furnish high school education by paying tuition:
(A) to a public school as in the judgment of the school board may best serve the interests of the students; or
(B) to an approved independent school or an independent school meeting education quality standards if the school board judges that a student has unique educational needs that cannot be served within the district or at a nearby public school.
(2) The judgment of the board shall be final in regard to the institution the students may attend at public cost.
Parents: You have no excuses. It’s up to you to get your kids into the school you believe best meets the needs of your children.
JUST DO IT!!
And parents shouldn’t let an unsympathetic school board stop them. If the board refuses to accommodate, sue them. And include court costs in your demands.
Every civil action may include:
Reimbursement of monies lost due to the defendant’s actions.
Compensation for damage to property.
Reimbursement of monies due to the defendant’s breach of a contract.
Reimbursement of medical expenses for injuries caused.
Compensation for pain and suffering (including emotional distress).
Make the request simple … with an enticing pre-settlement (i.e., financially beneficial for the school district and AOE to consider when compared to the potential cost of litigation). File a civil suit and agree to settle for the equivalent of a School Choice voucher (the announced annual average tuition defined by the AOE) payable for the duration of your child’s secondary education years, as designated by the parents to the approved public, independent or homeschool program of their choice.
Two lawsuits, A.H. v French and E.W. v French, that were filed in September of 2020.
One of the most important points in this settlement is that the AOE recognized the degree of its malfeasance when State officials agreed to pay $95,000 for the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees. This sets a profound precedent. Parents who feel aggrieved by their school district’s unwillingness to provide tuitioning where it’s authorized, no longer have to worry that fighting ‘city hall’ is going to cost them an arm and a leg in legal fees.