Forced outing policy proposed at Bass Lake School District

The Bass Lake School District School Board, which includes a middle school and several elementary schools, has proposed a forced outing policy. This policy is disguised as a “Parental Notification Rights Policy”. The policy verbiage and the proposal letter is below. The Bass Lake school board will be discussing this proposal for the third time at their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11 at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Oakhurst Elementary School 49495 High School Rd, Oakhurst, CA 93644. 

You can support in two ways:

Write emails that express your concern and disapproval of the policy. You can send emails to [email protected]. Emails must be sent before 12 p.m. Wednesday October 11th in order to be read out loud at the meeting. 

Please Make this your own!

I am writing as a community member to tell you I am concerned about the Parental Notification Policy. I care deeply about the needs of our community’s most vulnerable youth and their ability to have a fair chance for success and happiness—and it starts with our children. Students in Bass Lake can become successful adults with the right tools, access, and resources. However, outing transgender or gender-nonconforming children is not appropriate. This policy violates the rights of students.
People, including children, have constitutional rights, which include not having their gender identities disclosed without their consent. Students do not give up their rights by enrolling in public schools. While I support the rights of the guardians of students, parents do not have a constitutional right to know when their child uses a name or pronoun.

Transgender and gender-nonconforming students face substantially more risks than their cisgender peers. For example:
Transgender people are much more likely to be abused by their immediate family
73% of transgender youth report psychological abuse. 39% of these adolescents reported physical abuse, most of which is at the hands of disparaging parents
Familial abuse and rejection dramatically increase the risk of depression, substance abuse, and suicide
Transgender students cite the loss of control over disclosing their gender identity as a significant source of stress
Higher instances of abuse and rejection cause an overabundance of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth in foster care, detention centers, and homeless shelters
There was a 54% increase in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes in America in 2022
Teachers report only 10% of all abuse or neglect cases, meaning an administrator will not likely report the abuse
These risks are just a few that forced-outing policies pose to transgender and gender-diverse students. While I understand school administrators utilize their available tools to protect students, they can not determine that any environment is safe to expose a person’s gender identity.
Students should have a safe and supportive environment to explore their identities without the fear of the disclosure of personal information against their will. Even with seemingly supportive parents, some students may not be comfortable expressing their gender identities at home. School is one of the few places where many transgender and gender-nonconforming youth can express themselves. Transgender and gender-diverse youth thrive when their gender identities are affirmed, such as with names or pronouns that reflect who they are.
This issue affects the health and well-being of students. You have an opportunity as a leader of education—an institution that is supposed to be guided by data-based results—to advocate for children by supporting decisions rooted in research and evidence. If you value quantitative and qualitative evidence, you must concur that we need a new direction. There is no need to wait any longer and compound what we know are destructive outcomes. These impending outcomes cannot be outweighed by whatever good work you feel this policy may enact.
I know you have a decision to make that will be unpopular no matter what. However, that is your role as a board member—to help make the tough calls in the name of what is best for our students. The facts show that forcefully outing students to their parents so they may receive gender-affirming services violates rights and presents a physical and mental danger.

Opposing this policy is the right thing to do.

Attend the meeting to speak to the board in person. We encourage you to arrive 10 – 15 minutes early to get in line to speak. The attendance of those against this policy has not been very large for the last two meetings, so it is very important that we have a good turnout at the upcoming meeting.


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