Two Republican lawmakers sent a letter to US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in response to reports that a Florida elementary student attempted suicide after conversations with school officials about transitioning her gender from female to male.
According to news reports, the 12-year-old girl attempted suicide on her school campus after several conversations with staff about a gender transition. School officials had begun calling her a boy and assigned her a new name, all without notifying her parents
In the Feb. 3 letter, Rep. Virginia Foxx of Virginia and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina took issue with the school district concealing vital information about minor children from their parents.
“Actively concealing vital health information from parents effectively prevents parents from accessing information to which they are entitled,” Foxx and Burr argue in their letter.
The lawmakers specifically asked Secretary Cardona to clarify Title IX and FERPA requirements around parental rights:
In light of school districts’ proliferating efforts to conceal vital information from parents about minor children, we write to urge you to clarify the requirements of Title IX and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with respect to these policies.
The Obama administration apparently believed that a school district that notified parents of a minor child’s desire to change genders would be in violation of Title IX. The Biden administration must clarify its interpretation immediately.
The current controversy follows one in California, where a mother filed a lawsuit against a Monterey Bay-area school district, claiming two teachers convinced her daughter that she was transgender, a subject the sixth grader knew little about. Critics say it is just one more indication that parental trust in public schools is waning.
In the Florida case, the girl’s father filed a lawsuit, alleging a school counselor had been secretly meeting with his daughter about her questioning her gender.
The school counselor told the father that his daughter did not want to talk about the issue due to her parents being Catholic.
“I took offense because that had nothing to do with it. I mean I don’t even know if she understands our faith,” the father said. “That demonstrated she was ignorant about it. Our faith is one of unconditional love for our children.”