STRONGLY OPPOSE to NO PARENTAL CONSENT on meds - bad even for families with TRANSGENDER children!
This bill should be rejected because of all important issues I am listing below. It is clear that this bill was not properly thought through, many scenarios and opinions were not considered and covered for the safety of all children, families, educators and even families with transgender children.
1. LACK OF CONSENT
This bill lacks parental consent! Parents MUST know all medication their children take, all mental and physical issues their children experience and all procedures at all times! This is critical in case of emergency and when parents make decisions for any treatment on behalf of their children outside of school to avoid any adverse reactions or complications.
See page 12: "There are no regulations requiring school staff to notify a parent or guardian of a student’s request to affirm their gender identity, and school staff should work with students to help them share the information with their family when they are ready to do so. "
School cannot hide from parents any medication or procedures administered to children! What this bill proposes is unacceptable, it did not consider this situation, even families supporting transgender kids should strongly oppose this bill.
2. SIDE EFFECTS
Some of the medication or treatments that could possibly be provided carry short and/or long term mental and/or physical side effects, children should not be deciding to take them, they should not even be exposed to them or have them in their reach on school grounds. Parents must always be informed at earliest time possible. Examples of medication or treatment: PrEP pill for HIV, hormonal or other treatments for gender conversion, anticonception and/or even abortion.
3. PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Parents are best advocates for their own children, they know their children's health situation best and they can provide the most loving and compassionate approach. NOT school! Parents are also ultimately responsible for their kids' overall well being. Parents are also responsible for their kids' health insurance along with other expenses. This brings up another question: how would these services and medication be paid for if parents are not supposed to be aware? This is unacceptable!
There are already other bills put in place to protect transgender children (such as discrimination act or bill on conversion therapy (which prohibits correcting gender to that at birth!)), so part of this bill is redundant.
This bill encroaches on freedom of expression and religious liberty. It collides and goes against consciousness of many families, especially religious ones. It dismisses feelings and believes of a much larger group of students, in favor of much smaller transgender community.
This bill will provide new avenues to exploit for child predators (it is important to note that many child predators start at young age, about 9-11 and many victims do not report any offenses until their adulthood).
Sharing bathrooms or locker rooms will put many children in uncomfortable and even dangerous situation. It is an impossible expectation to have a separate locker room or restroom for each child made available by the time this bill be enforced, therefore many children will end up compromising themselves in shared facilities. Many children will end up either viewing or being viewed undressed by the opposite sex.
This bill will distract and oversexualize children, it will destroy current privacy rules. "Whenever schools provide sex-segregated activities such as physical education classes, students should be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity." (on page 16) - does that mean that girl claiming to be a boy can attend soccer or swimming topless?
There is a large number of parents and educators opposing this matter for years now. There are organizations such as Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County, Parent And Child Org, The Family Foundation and other. Their opposition have been dismissed over the years and it has not been heard or considered when this bill was created.