NJ won’t tell you if your son or daughter is a son or a daughter (Opinion)
When the school stands in between a loving parent and a gender-confused child, it's a mistake. Removing a parent from this equation reduces the interaction to only staff and other students. There is no shortage of examples of how unkind teenagers can be to each other.
The proponents of this new policy will point to kids who are unable to speak with their parents for fear of harm or being thrown out of the house. When that's the case, there are rules and procedures in place to protect kids already. And those kids must be protected.
Current policy allows students who choose another gender to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice. This idea forces the rest of the students and faculty to accept this as the new normal. If the student of the opposite sex makes anyone uncomfortable, it's the uncomfortable students who must choose to use an alternate unisex or faculty bathroom.
Why not accommodate the handful of kids choosing a new gender with the alternate bathrooms? Advocates will say that could make them stand out as different and they might get picked on. Isn't that what the policy is already doing? Instead of being subjected to a handful of cruel kids that would point out the one kid using an alternate bathroom, the gender confused kid is now subjected to the entire locker room.
Gender issues must be worked out with parents and counselors, not state education bureaucrats. Certainly not fair at any level to task teachers and local school officials to deal with the situation without parental input and cooperation.
From legalizing marijuana, to the affordability crisis, to opening up bathrooms of the opposite sex to gender confused kids, New Jersey continues to make this state hostile to families trying to raise and nurture their kids.
So many moms and dads in the Garden State have been pushed around lately simply for wanting to ensure that their kids have a good place to live, learn and grow up. Increasingly, parents in New Jersey are forced to accept that there is a new normal. Fighting against prejudice and persecution are laudable activities for sure, but when the traditional family is the one on the receiving end, who speaks for the parents? Who speaks for the religious communities? Jews, Christians and Muslims, all have serious and long lasting successful views of marriage, family and how to raise children. Kids are not allowed to even make certain food choices without their parents, let alone decide they want to change gender.
What makes this worse is the false narrative pushed by the media, academia and politically motivated activists that gender is a no-consequence choice to be made at any stage of life. But there are consequences for sure, evidenced by the high rate of self harm and suicide among transgender people. Is this because society refuses to accept transgender people? Or is this because society and government bureaucrats are replacing the role traditionally reserved for loving parents?
The challenges that some people have to endure regarding their gender are real. Certainly there is the rare condition of being born with a serious condition, both male and female parts, requiring a decision after birth. And there are those who suffer from Gender Dysphoria. This is a conflict between the gender someone is born with and how they identify. Can you imagine the suffering that must go on when someone is that confused?
Tolerance of a transgender person is exactly what we should expect in our society. But there is a difference between tolerance and a complete overhaul of our public school gender separation, which is positive and a necessary thing to protect privacy and ensure safety. And removing parents from this conversation is cruel and counter-productive to the child going through the torment.
Why is the only accepted course championed by advocates of transgender policy changes to encourage and facilitate a gender change? What about those confused children who may choose to stay with their birth gender? Given the current cultural anomaly that gender is simply chosen instead of a biological reality, parents who want to help their children are under attack. Parents who resist giving up on making decisions and helping kids navigate tumultuous times, are simply being removed from the equation.
Government will decide whether or not you are informed that your son or daughter is a son or a daughter. Perhaps even worse is that the kids themselves will have to bear the burden. So kids, who have not yet reached or are barely into puberty, are now empowered to make the monumental decision to change their gender.
If you listen to the advocates of the new policy, parents have no choice, but to accept. Regardless of evidence of gender dysphoria, you must submit. Regardless of the reality that kids sometimes act out in negative ways rebelling against authority, religion and yes, maybe gender, you must submit. Regardless of the possibility that this could be a phase where your child may need help because of genuine confusion, you must submit.
Mom and Dad, this is the test of your generation. Do not let them remove you from your child's life while they are at school. Stand up to the bullies who want to pretend that the new normal is normal and if you disagree, you're a bigoted obstructionist to progress. A gender changing decision is not something that should be in the hands of a child without parental involvement. The public schools should not facilitate this kind of abdication of adult responsibility. At the very least, parents should be active participants in the process. Seriously, think of the children.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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