Calif. Schools: Hormones through Homeroom?

Calif. Schools: Hormones through Homeroom?

February 21, 2020

Even in California, you have to be 18 to get a tattoo, 16 to drive a car, 21 to buy a gun, alcohol, or pot. But if you want to change your gender? Well, then, you just have to be 12. And your public school will be more than happy to help.

Need an abortion? Tell your teacher. Want to refill your birth control? Go to the school clinic. Thinking about starting hormone treatments? Your parents will never find out. At least, not under the policy the California Teachers Association (CTA) is pushing. That's the amazing revelation from last month's union meeting. On January 26th, the CTA decided to go big on the LGBT agenda -- adding "transgender and binary youth" to the students who can leave class for medical reasons without their parents' permission.

A number of concerned teachers leaked the new language to the Epoch Times, worried that no one in the state knew. "CTA believes comprehensive school-based health care clinics are needed to bring caring and responsive services to young people. The clinics shall provide cisgender, transgender, and non-binary youth equal and confidential access to decision-making rights for students and their families." Translation: A student can secretly pursue that transition at school without their parents ever finding out.

And while the policy doesn't expressly say "hormone therapy" is a part of that "access," the CTA committee made it clear: "That's the final goal." As far as the union is concerned, the current law is an outrage, since "it does not allow trans students to begin... hormone therapy without the consent of both legal guardians." Kids, they argue, should be free to take those drugs without the "barrier of parental permission." Just like they're free to get "excused absence" abortions without calling home or pop birth control pills from the clinic's nurse. In a country where millions of parents entrust their kids to public schools, it's time for everyone to realize: education has become the least of concerns for these school districts.

What's happening in Wisconsin schools -- where kids can assume a completely different identity without parents knowing -- has gone on in California since 2013. Michigan since 2016. New Jersey since 2018. If this hasn't made it to your state, trust me. It's coming. The other side is moving as fast as it can to get its hands on your sons and daughters. And in so many horrifying cases, it's too late for anyone to stop them. How many stories start out like this mom's? "I only found out after the fact," she says.

"I went to the school counselor and asked why they would let this happen? Why weren't her parents contacted to see 'what issues' she may be going through [before she 'came out' as a boy]? The school counselor relayed to me: 'We're following the guidance passed in Michigan 2016, that parents are not to be notified if a child self-identifies as a transgender."

Her daughter was 12 years old. There are literally hundreds of parents experiencing the same trauma -- or worse. In California, where sixth graders will probably be able to start hormone therapies without permission, how many children will come home completely and radically altered? Healthy, normal teenagers like Sydney Wright, who cried when she saw what she'd become on hormones. "Two years ago, I was a beautiful girl heading toward high school graduation. But after taking testosterone for a year, I turned into an overweight, pre-diabetic nightmare of a transgender man." The system, she says, failed her. "I was treated with mega-doses of powerful testosterone that ravaged my body, caused me to gain 50 pounds, and put me at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and teenage menopause. They didn't even talk to me about other treatment options! [No one] suggested I give myself time to grow up or wait and see what happens with counseling sessions... The only advice I got was to take mega-doses of testosterone."

Right now, there are parents all across this country who are sending their kids into the hands of the enemy and they don't even know it. As one mom in Santa Ana said, "Even though it seems peaceful here in America, there is a war waging for the minds of our children." And the other side is doing everything they can to accelerate the process before you find out -- locking more kids into a lifetime of agony that can't be reversed. Increasingly, over the last several decades, many government schools have become indoctrination centers for the Left, but the aggressiveness of their efforts in the last few years is staggering.

If you have children in public school, they're in danger. Knowing that there are deliberate efforts in school districts across the country to evade and deceive ought to drive parents everywhere to act. To prepare yourself and your family, take the time to read through FRC's "A Parent's Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education." And then prayerfully consider what other choices you have for educating your kids.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Keeping Radical Sex Ed at Harm's Length

February 21, 2020

In the real world, no one would keep paying for a service that didn't work -- especially if it was hurting the people using it. But that's exactly what's been happening for years under "comprehensive sex ed." It's not making any difference on behavior, a new study says -- and worse, it's probably damaging kids in the process.

When President Trump pulled the plug on Planned Parenthood's teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) grants early on, Planned Parenthood was outraged. So outraged, in fact, that they decided to sue the administration to keep their funding pipeline open. "The Trump administration is clearly trying to push their abstinence-only agenda," argued Planned Parenthood attorney Carrie Flaxman at the time. Unfortunately for her, elections have consequences -- and one of 2016's is that President Trump is finally taking an honest look at the country's approach to sex ed. And guess what the experts have discovered? The same thing as Obama's CDC: the Left's strategy isn't working.

In a deep dive of more than 60 studies on "comprehensive sex ed" in the U.S. and 43 abroad, the Institute for Research & Evaluation found "little evidence that [liberal] programs are effective at producing positive impact on their participants." But author Irene Erickson said, "Perhaps of greatest concern is that this new analysis found harmful effects on children and youth for roughly one in six school-based comprehensive sex education programs worldwide."

Of the 103 school-based comprehensive sex ed studies, only six found any evidence of "real effectiveness" after a year. And even those six didn't prove that they'd made any difference on condom usage or reduced sexually transmitted diseases. Only one in six even lowered teen pregnancy. But, the researchers warned, they didn't have any trouble producing negative results, like increasing teen sex and other risky acts.

None of this is a surprise to the CDC, which found that after two terms of the last administration's "if-it-feels-good-do-it" approach also made the situation worse. "Compared with their peers," a 2016 study by the American Journal of Public Health found, "teenagers in the [government's programs] were more likely to begin having sex... and more likely to get pregnant." And it's no wonder. The curriculum was so extreme that 40 percent of young people actually said they "felt more pressure to engage in sex from their sex ed classes than from their boyfriends or girlfriends!"

In other words, groups like Planned Parenthood, who are rattling the states' gates, demanding more money for their radical curriculums, are just wasting money -- and radically indoctrinating kids while they're at it. In places like California, Texas, Colorado, and Maryland, parents have been so shocked by the content leaders are proposing that they've built massive coalitions across party lines to fight back. "In Virginia," FRC's Cathy Ruse points out, "sex education is disguised under the parent-friendly label 'Family Life Education." And part of that "education," she points out, is giving eighth graders lessons with "multiple references to 'anal sex' and 'oral sex.'"

It's astonishing that any state would keep throwing money at an approach that's such a proven failure. But unfortunately, several have. That's why it's so imperative for parents to be involved -- on the state level where the money is appropriated, but also on the local level where these curriculums are being taught. If there's one thing Planned Parenthood and every other liberal is afraid of, it's engaged parents. They understand that the more you know, the harder you'll fight. And in a world where the other side will do anything to get to our children, fighters are exactly what we need.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

In Pensacola, Two Sides Exchange Cross Words

February 21, 2020

Their case wasn't technically over -- but eight months ago, when the Supreme Court ruled on the Bladensburg cross, the city of Pensacola, Florida couldn't help cheering. If the justices thought removing a large Maryland cross memorial was "hostil[ity] toward religion," then it certainly boded well for Florida's Bayview version too. Turns out, they were right.

"We won't bury the lead," the 11th Circuit Court judges wrote earlier this week. "Having reconsidered this case in light of [the Supreme Court's decision in the American Legion case], we conclude that... Pensacola's maintenance of the Bayview Park cross does not violate the First Amendment." The 42-page opinion put to rest (at least for now) a long-running feud between the American Humanist Foundation, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the ocean-side city.

Taking a second look at the 78-year-old cross, the judges agreed that it's "embedded in the fabric of the Pensacola community" and removing it might strike some as offensive or anti-faith. Luke Goodrich, the Becket attorney representing the city, couldn't agree more. "Religious symbols aren't like graffiti that the government has to erase as soon as someone complains. The Supreme Court has rightly ruled that governments can recognize the important role of religion in our history and culture." And in a city where there are more than 170 displays focused on the city's culture and history, why let them pick on this one?

FRC's Katherine Johnson, who joined Sarah Perry on "Washington Watch" to talk about the case, agreed, "It's another big win for religious liberty. [These crosses] show the role that religion plays in the public and in people's lives and communities -- specifically in times of suffering. The predominant faith that the community really manifest itself. And that's exactly what happened in Pensacola. It was right before World War II in times of a national crisis. The community came together and put up this cross. So it's definitel y reassuring to know that these symbols and these signs of faith and strength in a community and everything else is going [to] stand. And hopefully, people will stop coming after these."

The momentum for these cases involving religious displays and monuments has to be on the side of freedom. Even Justice Clarence Thomas went so far as to say that he would scrap limits from all aspects of the Establishment Clause analysis. "So it definitely seems," Katherine said hopefully, "with the appointment of Justice Kavanaugh and more of a conservative majority, that this really could be a new era for religious liberties in the courts..."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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