By Jonathon Van Maren
On January 5, the National Post published an extraordinary piece of reporting that has gotten very little attention—a revealing reaction. Written by Tom Blackwell, it is titled “How Canadian schools aid students’ gender transition without family consent,” and it lays out details of what is becoming standard practice in Canadian public schools across the country. We have been publishing articles on this trend here for several years, but Blackwell’s reporting includes some truly stunning stories.
The report begins by detailing how a Calgary teacher told a Grade 6 class that their classmate had come out as transgender, but that they “mustn’t let slip their classmate’s new gender identity to her parents,” who did not know the student had begun identifying this way. In short, one mother told Blackwell, “Kids were being taught to lie parents”—11-year-old kids. This scenario, however, is actually now standard practice in the public school system, Blackwell noted:
But in some ways the instruction flowed naturally from what has become a common policy throughout Canada. Boards of education, education ministries and even the Public Health Agency of Canada are urging schools to both automatically honour a transitioning student’s request to change their name and pronouns — and to keep that information from parents if requested.
It’s just one way the education system has become intimately involved in the transgender process, which affects an “exponentially” growing number of young Canadians. Schools accept name and pronoun preferences, provide gender-neutral washrooms and teach from a young age about gender identity. In some cases, they can even refer students directly to gender-treatment clinics.
In short, schools are not only affirming of transgender identification, as has been the case for some time. They are actively keeping information about children from parents on the presumption that parents might be a danger to their own children and that they, the government employees, are better suited and equipped to deal with these incredibly sensitive, life-changing, and potentially irreversible changes. Blackwell noted that “health professionals applaud the developments” while “some parents of children with gender dysphoria…are bristling.”
One mother whose daughter began identifying as male at an Ontario school told Blackwell that this is more than simply a usurpation of authority—it is dangerous: “It’s not a benign act. It’s a psychological intervention—and it’s not a minor psychological intervention—that teachers and counsellors are entering into without any psychological training at all.” Notably, both this mother and other parents Blackwell interviewed asked to be kept anonymous. Parents who dare to speak out about what is going on risk being damned as transphobic bigots and having their ability to parent questioned, which is why anonymous groups for parents with gender dysphoric children to have open discussions have sprung up.
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