If you happen to be someone with a lick of common sense left in your head, the answer to the question in the title of this piece should be an obvious and resounding “yes.” But that’s apparently not the case with Katie J. M. Baker, a reporter who covers “social and cultural conflicts” for the New York Times. In an article published this weekend, Baker tells the story of Jessica Bradshaw, a California mother who had no idea that her 15-year-old daughter had begun “identifying” as a boy until she saw “an unfamiliar (male) name” on the top of one of her homework assignments. When she went to the school demanding to know why this information was kept from her, she was informed that California doesn’t require parents to be informed unless the student requests such notification.
“There was never any word from anyone to let us know that on paper, and in the classroom, our daughter was our son,” Mrs. Bradshaw said.
The Bradshaws have been startled to find themselves at odds with the school over their right to know about, and weigh in on, such a major development in their child’s life — a dispute that illustrates how school districts, which have long been a battleground in cultural conflicts over gender and sexuality, are now facing wrenching new tensions over how to accommodate transgender children.
The story of the Bradshaw family and their experience with their daughter’s public school education is something of a horror show, but the Times treats it like some sort of nuanced debate. The parents eventually accepted the idea of their daughter being their son, but only with “trepidation.” And that “trepidation” increased significantly when the daughter asked for hormone therapy and a mastectomy.
Not for nothing, but if the situation has already reached the point where the child is talking about hormones and surgery, it’s time to remove them from that school and get them into therapy. It should also be time for a lawsuit, but we’re talking about California, so that’s probably a lost cause as well.
The article goes on to provide additional details of the daughter’s situation. It turns out that she had previously been diagnosed as being “on the autism spectrum,” as well as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, PTSD and anxiety. Even if we ignore the fact that children do not have the maturity to provide informed consent to medical procedures under the best of circumstances, does this really sound like a child who is prepared to make decisions about irreversible drug treatments and surgery?
This isn’t just another case of schools engaging in child abuse, though that’s clearly what’s going on. This is yet another reinforcement of the “progressive” idea that children are better off as wards of the state that the school district is nice enough to “loan” back to the parents in the evenings and over the weekend. It’s a complete dismissal of the idea of parental rights unless the parents agree to toe the line of the trans agenda activists.
As accepting as the Bradshaws may have been of their daughter’s decision, they still had the common sense to ask an obvious question. Mrs. Bradshaw said that the school had “made her feel like a bad parent for wondering whether educators had put her teenager, a minor, on a path the school wasn’t qualified to oversee.”
That’s exactly the point. Too many public schools have become indoctrination centers where this social contagion is spreading faster than an outbreak of chickenpox. And rather than working with the families to ensure the children’s safety, they are actively encouraging this. Until this destructive fad can be brought under control, private schools and homeschooling should be seeing a massive surge in popularity. And the sooner the Supreme Court gets involved in this, the better.