A new report reveals students in the nation’s largest school districts are encouraged to change their names and pronouns without parental knowledge, even though those same schools require parental approval for over-the-counter medicine.
The report, released by The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI), found that “eight of the nation’s 20 largest school districts allow students to use names and pronouns at school aligned with their gender identity without parental knowledge and consent,” said DFI.
“Yet these same districts, including New York City Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Chicago Public Schools, require parental permission to dispense over-the-counter medication to students at school,” added DFI.
The report comes one day after news broke that Saint Paul Public Schools are “explicitly instructing teachers to use students’ preferred names and pronouns with or without parental consent,” according to WZTV Nashville.
The study said that while the schools rightfully followed parental wishes regarding medications, the same logic wasn’t applied to the use of pronouns, overthrowing “the social and cultural consensus that parents decided what was best for their children.”
“School districts across the country are failing to respect the rights of parents to make decisions for their minor children,” said Bob Eitel, co-founder and president of DFI.
Dozens of parents spoke to the New York Times last month, saying that keeping secrets from parents is “a stab in the back from the school system.”
The Times details the work of a transgender clinical psychologist, Dr. Erica Anderson, who is advocating for parental rights.
“It’s well established that one of the most important factors in helping gender-questioning children is family support,” Anderson told Fox News Digital.
“So to deliberately deprive a child of support at a time potentially when they most need it is, I think, a serious error in judgment,” she added.
The DFI report says there are serious risks that come with changing how children interact with teachers and peers.
“Interim guidance from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service explains that ‘early social Transition’ in children is an ‘active intervention’ that ‘should not be viewed as a neutral act’” said the DFI report.
The survey said that a wide range of lobbying groups such as GLSEN, the Human Rights Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Education Association authored a guidebook that recommends schools discuss gender pronouns with students while cautioning them to be prepared not to inform parents.
DFI recommended governors, legislatures, boards of education, education agencies, school districts, school boards and schools push back against such guidance to ensure that parents direct medical and mental health decisions for their children.
“Most importantly, parents should know their rights and demand transparency from their schools,” the report concluded.