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When students change their gender identity, should schools inform their parents?


This is the same point that Todd Gazda, who was then superintendent of Massachusetts, made during a tense school board meeting that took place before he and his district were sued by Mr. Foote, the father of the 11-year-old who said he learned of his child’s new gender identity from a teacher, who was later fired.

“For many of our students, school is their only safe place,” Gazda said at that meeting, “and that safety evaporates when they leave the confines of our buildings.” Concerns about parental rights, he added, are actually thinly veiled “intolerance and prejudice against LGBTQ people”.

Judges have dismissed many lawsuits. In December, a federal judge dismissed Mr. Foote’s case, writing that affirming a student’s gender identity was not necessarily a medical intervention or even proof of social transition, but “grant simply to the person the basic level of respect expected in a civil society in general”. .”

However, the judge acknowledged that “it is disconcerting” that school administrators could “actively hide information from parents about something important about their child”.

In January, Mr. Foote filed an appeal.

The son of Ms Bradshaw, the Southern California mother, said he had empathy for parents who struggle to come to terms with their children being transgender. But he also expressed his frustration.

“When parents say they need time or patience, it may feel like an excuse to keep cheating on you,” he said. “It feels like they’re mourning someone who’s not dead, and it makes you feel like you’re not good enough.”

His mother reiterated that she loved her child regardless of gender, but expressed her own frustrations.

“The school tells me I have to jump on the bandwagon and be totally supportive,” Ms Bradshaw said. “There’s only so much and so far I’m ready to go right now and hopefully as a parent that would be my decision.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.

nytimes Gt

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