The subject line reads “Gender Support Plan 7th Grade.” The information that follows in this email is a full-on explanation from California’s San Pasqual Union School from assistant principal, Tammy Lee, as to how teachers will deal with a seventh-grade transgender student by telling them to refer to the student by their new name and pronouns. What some are finding unsettling, though, is that the email also directs teachers to hide child transition from the student’s unaware parents.
Twitter handle Libs of Tik Tok found this and say they have obtained an email where Lee has advised teachers about a child transition and to change a 7th grader’s pronouns, then warns the teachers that the parents “DO NOT KNOW.” Libs of Tik Tok make the claim based on this email that the school is “actively going behind the parent’s backs and hiding this information.”
In the child transition email, Lee starts off by saying, “From here on out, Rebecca (last name redacted) shall be referred to as Evan (last name redacted) he/they.” From there Lee says that Evan will continue to use the girls’ bathrooms and that all students and staff may know of this situation. Lee states there will not be an announcement made at the school, but then pointed out, “Evan’s parents DO NOT KNOW.” Lee then writes that any information going home to Evan’s parents shall continue to say “Rebecca.” Lee then explains to the teachers to make a note reminding them to use Evan for Rebecca since their attendance sheets will continue to say Rebecca on them.
It didn’t take long for the Twitter firestorm to spread. Shortly after posting, Libs of Tik Tok came back with a tweet claiming that San Pasqual Union deleted their Twitter account. The flames of the child transition firestorm got even hotter.
So, where do we go from here? Gender identity is becoming a major topic in schools across the nation. From the Genderbread Person to the Gender Unicorn, public schools (and now even private schools) are teaching children as young as kindergarten about gender identity. How young is too young and how far is too far?
What appears to be the main bone of contention is the fact that parents are being kept in the dark when it concerns their own children. In many states across the country, schools are not having to share with parents the fact that their child is questioning their gender. In fact, some schools have what is called a Gender Closet to help kids out who wish to hide their gender experimentation from their parents.
Just recently, Fremont High School in Oakland, California started a new chapter of “The Transition Closet,” an organization that began at the Fayetteville, Arkansas Good Shepard Lutheran Church to help with child transition. According to a Facebook posting from The Transition Closet, the Fremont High School chapter is the “first school-based Transition Closet.” True, it may be the first “Transition Closet” in a school, but gender closets have been in schools for some time now.
According to The Transition Closet’s post, “We are extremely excited to begin our journey in working with Fremont Highschool of Oakland California…The near future holds transition closet(s) and services throughout the school district for students of the Trans/Nonbinary/Intersex and additional LGBTQIA+ Community Members. We are currently in need of clothing donations to help kick start the first School-Based Transition Closet.”
Camps were definitely divided on Lee’s child transition email to teachers. Some comments backed the Libs of Tik Tok shining a light on the subject. Here are a few responses.
But there were others who felt what Lee and the school were doing was not only appropriate, but it was something that could keep the 7th grader from harm at home. There are many who feel that the reason kids hide their gender identity from their parents is because their parents won’t accept them. They say schools are turning into their child transition safe zone.