The dangers of the modern enthusiasm for the Transgender Revolution are nothing new. Nor is its effect upon educational systems nationwide. Many public school systems deliberately conceal essential information about students’ “gender identities” from their parents.
A Common Misunderstanding
However, many people believe that this condition exists primarily in liberal-dominated “blue states” and big cities—especially those near large universities and colleges. Local schools in these areas are more likely to be run by people with radically leftist goals.
The related assumption is that small towns and rural areas are essentially free of such nonsense. After all, “Ten Commandments” Christians are more common in such places. Connections between generations are stronger. Children in rural areas are more likely to see their fellow students in other settings, such as churches, athletic teams, informal neighborhood playgroups, etc. Their parents know their children’s friends’ parents. Family and community hierarchies are more pronounced.
Thus, many try to escape the influence of “woke” ideas by moving to rural areas.
A Vitally Useful List
However, a document released by an organization called “Parents Defending Education” reveals that such assumptions are often incorrect. The document’s title is “List of School District Transgender—Gender Nonconforming Student Policies.” It was first released in March of 2023 and is constantly updated.
This webpage is not visually arresting. It is not sensational. There are no horror stories about parents facing down school administrators, no films of indignant parents being ejected from school board meetings. In fact, there are no photographs at all. It is a simple list. To gain a place on that list, however, a school system must “have Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Policies that openly state that district personnel can or should keep a student’s transgender status hidden from parents. (Emphasis in the original.)
Amazingly, that list names over a thousand U.S. school districts. Those districts operate over 18,000 schools with almost 10.8 million students. The usual offenders—Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, the District of Columbia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and so on—are here.
However, those are not the only monuments in this hall of shame. Many communities in small towns and rural areas are also listed. Some entries, like the one that the rest of this article discusses, are not just unexpected—but shocking.
Wokeness Infiltrates a Rural School System
Most readers would need help finding McClusky, North Dakota, on a map. It is about sixty miles drive north of Bismarck, the state’s capital. Winding rural roads may slow drivers, but traffic will not be a problem. McClusky is the county seat of Sheridan County. A little over three hundred people live in the town. The 2020 Census pegged the county’s total population at 1,265 people. It makes its proudest boast on a wooden sign on Highway 200, “Geographic Center of North Dakota.”
Real estate website Zillow rates the average Sheridan County home value at $75,025, about one-quarter of the site’s national average of $346,048. Those who can handle the weather (Weather Spark says that January’s “daily low temperatures are around 4°F”) might think this is the ideal retreat from twenty-first-century liberal craziness.
Those so inclined would find comfort in glancing through the district’s Student-Parent Handbook. The handbook is shared by the only two schools in the district—the elementary school on Avenue F and the high school on Avenue D.
A Traditional Veneer Over a Rotten Base
The “COMMON COURTESY AND BEHAVIOR” section includes admonitions that might astonish many familiar with everyday conduct in many modern public schools. Rule #1 forbids the wearing of hats or caps indoors. Rule #2 prohibits snowball throwing. The only acceptable titles for staff members are Mr., Mrs. and Miss. The unpronounceable Ms. is not even mentioned. Profanity in any form is forbidden. A section titled “CHURCH NIGHT” informs all that “Wednesday evening of each week is set aside as church night, and no activities may be scheduled on these evenings.”
How far wrong can one go in a school that reserves time for churches to hold activities on a weekday evening?
Indeed, the very first words in the handbook are “PARENTS RIGHT TO KNOW.” The accompanying paragraph informs parents that they have the right to information about each teacher’s credentials.
Limits on Parents’ “Right to Know”
Unfortunately, that right to know does not extend to what is happening to the children. Administrative Regulation FDI-AR, “TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NONCONFORMING STUDENT PROCEDURE,” is not normally distributed to parents. It is replete with language that could come out of an LGBTQ+ organization’s press releases. The reality that being genuinely transsexual is a biological impossibility goes unmentioned.
The section on privacy heads the second page of the regulation. It begins with a classic technique of deception, the appeal to an absent authority. “The District shall ensure that all personally identifiable and medical information relating to a transgender and gender nonconforming student shall be kept confidential in accordance with applicable state, local, and federal privacy laws.” The regulation’s authors hope, thereby, to move the discussion away from the school system’s board or offices to courts or the halls of the state and national legislatures, where a single complaining parent will have little influence.
The real punch is in the following sentence. “School staff shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents or guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or the student has authorized such disclosure.” (Emphasis added.)
Resisting the Creeping Spread of Transgender Tyranny
Indeed, very few, if any, of our readers have any connection to McClusky, North Dakota. However, the purpose of this article is to make two points. First, the woke phase of the Revolution has spread far beyond the places and people associated with it in the public mind. The second is that the list compiled by Parents Defending Education is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to see if that mindset has spread into their community or those in which they have family or other connections.
Particularly useful are the links in the list that take the inquirer directly into the pertinent school board documents. This feature is especially valuable to the defenders of sanity who need to confront public officials. Often, these policies are implemented by administrators at the district level after receiving scant attention from the members of the governing school board. Therefore, it is altogether possible that the school board members do not understand the implications of policies they—or their predecessors—voted to enact. In such situations, having the appropriate title and the document’s exact text can be instrumental in reversing these pernicious guidelines.
Of course, a particular school district may have escaped the organization’s scrutiny. Parents Defending Education acknowledges this fact and requests that concerned citizens report such policies for possible inclusion. Keeping schools safe from leftist lies and deceptions requires constant vigilance.
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