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Culture War Roundup for the week of August 28, 2023

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Everybody starts using the child's new names/pronouns in everything from casual conversations to official reports...and the parents don't notice for >2 years

You should listen to stories from educators who deal with these issues in reality.

Yes absolutely kids ask teachers to use different names/pronouns in class and the parents never find out.

Yes absolutely kids ask if they can use the gender-neutral single-stall bathroom next to the teacher's lounge, or change in bathroom stall instead of in front of the other kids, and parents never find out.

You can't 'ensure' that the parents never find out, but you can maximize your odds.

And even if they find out eventually, buying 6 months or a year or three years of time can be very important for a kid trying to build a secondary support network.

I’m sure that’s what the educators say and believe but it doesn’t follow that is good for the kids. The whole debate is who is in the best position to make an intelligent decision: the kid, the educator, or the parent.

The kid is young, dumb and subject to peer pressure with limited long term thinking.

The educator has little skin in the game.

The parent has a ton of skin in the game and likely can be a bit more long term thinking.

The question is not whether parents should ever be informed that a child is experiencing gender dysphoria; ideally, the child should tell them immediately.

The question is what happens in the rare cases where the child feels that it would not be safe to do this.

Child protective services does exist; some parents are bad parents, and the state is aware of this and has policies that acknowledge it.

Acknowledging that some parents are bad and need to be treated differently from other parents is in no way at odds with saying parents should generally be trusted to make good decisions for their children. It's just that every rule has exceptions.

The question here is what to do about exceptions. So far it has been up to the student and teacher's best judgement about what to do in each case, based on their local precise knowledge of the situation.

The proposal here is for the state to override that local judgement and regulate that all parents be treated the same no matter what, ignoring the possibility of legitimately dangerous exceptions.

This is big government overreach into people's private lives, in a way that's legitimately dangerous as well as onerous. And it's being done for clear culture war reasons, there's a reason we have 50 high-profile bills about trans kids in school and few to none about school funding or other things with much bigger impact.

K-12 teachers and administrators are not empowered to provide therapy or other significant psychosocial interventions to the kids in their care. Not even the school counselor can diagnose or provide therapy. They need parental consent to initiate any of that.

That used to be the norm at least. Not so much any more.

Many states, including Washington, allow schools to give out prescriptions to any minor over age 13 without getting permission from a parent if they are seeking treatment for mental health services.