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UPDATE: Parents Protest GVSD Transgender Bathroom Policy

Should girls who attend the Great Valley School District (GVSD) be forced to share bathrooms with boys who identify as girls? That is the district’s policy, and parents tell Delaware Valley Journal that they are outraged by it.

Hillary Schmid, whose daughter attends middle school in the district, emailed Superintendent Daniel Goffredo Ed.D. about the policy. She received a reply confirming students in kindergarten through high school “are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to the gender identity they consistently assert at school.”

“I am disgusted by it,” said Schmid, who said she planned to attend a board workshop meeting at Great Valley High School  on Sept. 12 to speak out. “It’s about the safety of all children, not just mine.”

Meanwhile, at least one school is adding urinals to the girls’ bathrooms in Montgomery County.

Rae Hofkin, an Upper Perkiomen School Board member, speaking as herself, not a member, told DVJournal the district’s new middle school includes a urinal in the ladies’ room. And it was not a mistake.

“The new middle school construction was completed about three years ago,” Hofkin said.  “When it was in the planning stages, the blueprints showed the urinals in the ladies’ room. A parent asked about the ‘mistake’ and was told it wasn’t a mistake that for the school to qualify for LEED gold standards, it was required to have urinals in the girls’ room.

“It was an Obama administration requirement. Then the superintendent at the time (Dr. Alexis McGloin) stated that the paraeducators who work with special education (students) could assist male students with bathroom duties as most paraeducators are female. At that point, the parents weren’t as awake as they are now.”

According to Peter N. Kirsanow of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, the Biden administration is following the same pattern. Under proposed Department of Education rules, K–12 schools accepting federal funds would be required to affirm a child’s gender identity regardless of biological sex, without requiring the approval of or notification to the child’s parents. And bathroom and shower facilities could not segregate children by biological sex.

Concerned parents say the potential problems are obvious. Schmid cites Louden County, Va., where a transgender student was convicted of raping a girl in a girls’ restroom at her school. The school in question had a similar policy to GVSD’s. The assailant pled no contest to a second sexual assault of a different girl in another girls’ restroom at another school. It was eventually discovered the school superintendent knew about the original sexual assault and attempted to cover it up.

In an email to Goffredo and the GVSD school board, Schmid said, “The entire policy is nonsense. The students questioning his/her gender have not developed intellectually or emotionally to make such a life-changing decision. Is trigonometry taught to third graders….No, because it’s not developmentally appropriate.

“Are first graders expected to learn to reason through problems even in the absence of concrete events or examples? No, because they do not have the intellectual capability yet. The average age a female brain develops is 21 years old; the male brain at 25 years old. So what makes you think this Transgender Policy is applicable to children 5- 18 years old? This is developmentally incorrect and morally wrong.

Schmid told DVJournal she could not believe the district was focused on this when so many students are behind in math and reading because of the pandemic school shutdowns.

“I am so frustrated by this district,” said Schmid. “It’s a social indoctrination school district just like so many public schools.

Wendy Hunt, another parent, said she is concerned about her 9-year-old daughter attending Sugartown Elementary School. She suggested the girl, who is worried about boys going into the girls’ restroom with her, take a friend along. But Principal Kyle Hammond nixed that idea because it could affect another child’s academic progress, she said. He suggested that her daughter use a single-person restroom in the nurse’s office.

But Hunt she said believed the transgender students should use that bathroom, not her daughter. She thinks the district is discriminating against her child.

“Her privacy doesn’t matter?” she asked.  “They are discriminating against her for one or two individuals.”

When she told Hammond she wanted to keep her daughter safe, he responded, “All school policies protect all students.”

“I am disappointed and do not know what to do,” said Hunt, who noted that the school board walks out on parents when they say things it does not like. She may sign her daughter up for karate to protect herself in the school restrooms.

Previously, the DVJournal reported that a whistleblower teacher said GVSD permits children to use different names and pronouns at school while keeping it secret from their parents.

“This policy is a continuation of the immoral actions of the Great Valley School District, said Bruce Chambers, a former school board president.  “They have held secret meetings with middle school students who allegedly expressed gender non-conforming behavior.  Parents were not told about the meetings.  The counselors then send instructions to the teachers, instructing them to not tell the parents about the name and pronoun changes.  So, they lie and deceive the parents, and they direct teachers to do the same.

“I met with the superintendent about this issue around March of this year. I asked him for the legal justification for lying and hiding information from parents.  He could not answer my question, which was shocking.  I asked for a legal brief to justify it.  He promised to send it to me.  Despite several reminders, he has not sent me anything.  He lied to me.  I then asked the board for the information, but they also have sent me nothing,” said Chambers.

“As the parent’s email states, the school board pledges to provide an environment that is conducive to learning where people feel safe and secure.  This policy does just the opposite, and the district’s lies and deceit in dealing with parents and taxpayers is a continuation of their overall immoral behavior,” he said.

David Barratt, the current school board president, did not respond to a request for comment before the meeting.

Several parents and residents spoke out at the meeting against permitting transgender students to use the same bathrooms as girls, but others were okay with that policy.

Wayne Dunlap told the board that the policy makes students less safe and mentioned the Loudon County incidents. Dunlap told the board that students exhibiting transgender behavior could suffer from mental illnesses.

“Allowing a minority of transgender students to use whatever bathroom they prefer makes the majority unsafe,” he said. “If you think it’s that needs to be done, I suggest you either build separate bathrooms for transgender students or allow them to use the staff or teachers’ facility. Your job is to protect the children. And I can tell you right now, if something happens to one of those children, you are singularly responsible, as individuals and school board members.”

Chambers pointed to the earlier version of this DVJournal article and said he would send the board links to it.

“By allowing this to happen you are opening up your kids to danger,” Chambers said. “They are not safe and secure.”

One woman said reports of the Virginia case in “conservative” media caused “hysteria” and that the boy involved was not transgender.

Mother Fenicia Redman, who is suing the district over obscene books in the school libraries, read from a judge’s 2004 opinion in Doe v Boyertown Area School District that mentioned Goffredo, who had been a principal there after four students alleged a male ROTC teacher sexually harassed them. Those allegations were not reported to the state Child abuse hotline or the Navy. And the “alleged investigation was a sham,” she said, quoting the judge.

She questioned Goffredo’s judgment and said he ‘is unfit to be superintendent.”

Barratt responded to her remarks, saying, “The board wholeheartedly supports our superintendent. We supported him when we hired him, and we continue to support him.”

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Great Valley Schools Sic Cops on Parent Being Interviewed in Parking Lot

The East Whiteland Police Department sent three cars to the Great Valley High School District Wednesday where Fenicia Redman, the mother who is suing the school district over obscene library books, was being interviewed by a TV reporter.

The interview took place after school hours.

The Malvern mom brought friends to hold the posters she had made that showed graphic pictures from the books. Redman and her friends, along with the Epoch Times video journalists, were told by a police officer that they had to leave.

“We had just completed the (filmed) interview and the journalist was asking me a few more questions,” said Redman. Her friends holding the posters called out to her that the police were there.

“I turned around and an officer, Sgt. Mitchell, comes out of his vehicle and I walked toward him,” said Redman. “He said, ‘The district wants you off the property.’”

Redman told him she was the parent of a student at the school and a taxpayer and that she was being interviewed about her lawsuit against the district. The officer told her they had to leave. So they left peacefully.

“I was not afraid,” said Redman. “We were talking about a real problem, which is inside the school (the obscene books).”

“It’s incredulous,” said Redman. “I brought these very pictures to the police department and they did not go into the school to investigate.” Instead, the police turned the matter over to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, which did not find it to be a criminal offense.

“I’m not giving up,” said Redman, who has a Go Fund Me page to raise money for her suit. “This is ludicrous. I’m thankful they (the police) were polite…We won’t be intimidated. We won’t be silenced. We’re just getting started.”

Lily Sun, the Epoch Times reporter who was interviewing Redman, said she was startled when the police came.

“It was a surprise for me,” said Sun. “To be honest, those pictures in the books were a surprise for me, too. That’s why I wanted to report it.”

A spokeswoman for the school district did not respond to requests for comment.

Former Great Valley School Board President Bruce Chambers was there for the interview, holding a poster.

“We were set up in the lower parking lot away from the high school and middle school buildings and in an area that had a bench for seating,” said Chambers. “We were not disturbing anyone, and indeed, the school day was over so the parking lot was nearly empty. A camera and microphone were set up so it was obvious what was happening.

“Sending the police is indicative of the bunker mentality of the school district and its refusal to engage with the public. Their first reaction was to send the police. Ridiculous. All they had to do was send a staff person to talk with Fenicia and they would have immediately found out what she was doing.

“This further confirms for me that the school district has no respect for the public who is paying for everything. They are incompetent and their reaction was pathetic.”

In her suit, Redman describes and includes pictures from the books: “Gender Queer” with graphic pictures of sexual acts, “Tantric Sex,” which is a manual describing sexual acts, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” which also shows details of sexual acts, and “PUSH” that includes a female child who is raped by her father. In “Fun House” there are scenes of women having sex with women.

When she and the group of other concerned parents took the book posters to the state Capitol to show lawmakers exactly what schools have in their libraries, a Capitol police officer ordered her to remove some of the posters because children might see them.

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Great Valley Mom Sues District, State Officials Over Graphic Sex in School Books

A mother with a teenager in the Great Valley School District filed a federal lawsuit against the district over obscene materials in school libraries where her son is a student.

Fenicia Redman filed the suit without a lawyer on behalf of her minor son, a student at Great Valley High School, asking the court to issue an injunction to remove the books and other materials.

But said she believes the case will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court because the books are in schools nationwide.

Image from “Gender Queer”

“I’m a determined Puerto Rican American advocating for the protection of my minor son and all minor children from obscene graphic sexual material distributed in the public school system. In the last 10 months,” she said in the introduction to her litigation. “I’ve publicly appealed to educators, administrators, directors, law enforcement, district attorneys, legislators, and the governor, asking each to remove obscene sexual material from my minor son’s school library.”

She mentioned the book “Gender Queer” with graphic pictures of sexual acts, “Tantric Sex,” which is a manual describing sexual acts, “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” which also shows details of sexual acts, and “PUSH” that includes a female child who is raped by her father. In “Fun House” there are scenes of women having sex with women.

The complaint filed by Redman includes excerpts of various books available in the Great Valley High School library that students are also able to download on their home computers, which she claimed is a violation of federal law.

The lawsuit detailed Redman’s months-long saga of talking to the Great Valley School Board, the local police, the Chester County District Attorney’s office and the state legislature, where some legislators were sympathetic to her cause. She said she was rebuffed by Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Both the police and Chester County District Attorney’s office told Redman they did not believe the pornographic material in the books was a criminal matter, the suit said.

“Finding no support from the school district, police, or attorney general, friends and I took our appeal to the (state) capitol, stood in the rotunda silently with posters I made of content from “PUSH,” “Tantric Sex,” “Gender Queer” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue.”” There she was told by a capitol police officer to remove the most graphic posters because ‘There are children walking these halls. Get rid of it now!’”

The lawsuit might receive an X rating for all the graphic photos of sexual acts included. However, they are the graphic photos that are in students’ library books for minor children to view, she noted.

On May 15, 2022, Redman alleges her First Amendment rights were violated by the Great Valley School District at a school board meeting. As Redman pressed her case with the board, Superintendent Daniel Geoffredo had her removed by security officers and then called the police.

In an interview with the DVJournal, Redman said she has no recourse except to sue, since everyone from the school board and school officials to Wolf ignored her complaints about the graphic books.

“This is a national issue,” said Redman. “On June 29, the governor had these posters in his office. The police removed them from the capitol hallway. He did not care. The governor looked at posters of a child giving (oral sex) to another child and he didn’t care. Minimally, he could have called his attorney general to investigate. All of them do not see this as a problem.”

“The transfer of obscene materials to minors is a crime,” said Redman. “This has no place in our schools. What is the educational value of two minors having sex with each other? This is criminally extreme. The kids have no say in the matter. They’re sitting ducks.”

“The Office of the Attorney General has no standing in a school board matter of this nature and this lawsuit includes no allegations directly levied at the attorney general, that being said we are aware of the lawsuit and our office plans to represent the attorney general,” a spokeswoman for Shapiro said.

“How does (Attorney General Josh) Shapiro (who is running for governor) have the nerve to run ads saying he’s protecting children and does nothing?” she said. “This isn’t even a moral issue. It’s a criminal issue.”

Redman added, “This is not ‘The Twilight Zone,’ and the governor of our commonwealth and the attorney general, the senior law enforcement officer of our state, says it’s not a criminal act,” Redman said.

The other defendants’ institutions, including the Great Valley School District spokeswoman, did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Redman has a Go Fund Me page to fund her legal representation.

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Great Valley Administrators Participated in CRT Webinar Pushed by State Group

Thirty Great Valley School District administrators watched a webinar advocating the controversial — and some say racist — Critical Race Theory (CRT) distributed by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators last fall. The district had previously denied using CRT materials.

In the webinar, posted on the PASA website, Shayla Reese Griffin with the Justice Leaders Collaborative claims the institutions of American society, including the public school system, are “systemically racist.” That structural racism extends to the healthcare and criminal justice systems as well. She also advances the CRT theory that people are racist even if they never engage in racist behavior and that White people who never display any “racist animus” are still racist.

And, Griffin said, those who oppose teaching CRT are ignorant, naïve, or members of a “right-wing” backlash that is “an organized movement to stop progress.”

The webinar instructs administrators to avoid admitting to teaching CRT if confronted by parents and members of the public at school board meetings.

 

 

Bruce Chambers, a former GVSB president, filed a right-to-know request and discovered the webinar, viewed by administrators on Oc. 20, 2021. They then discussed it in small groups. This despite the board members and superintendent telling the public that CRT is not taught in the district.

“At the same time, the administrators took that training,” said Chambers. “They don’t have any credibility with me. It’s part of their responsibility to be transparent and share with the public. They kept it hidden until I asked for it. Parents need to know that administrators are being taught this.”

He said it is unlikely district administrators are not relying on CRT. “It’s beyond the pale,” said Chambers. “It’s nothing to do with education, with kids.”

When word of the video got out, PASA pulled it from its website.

In the video, Griffin urges educators to train students to think differently than previous generations, admitting the goal is the indoctrination of generations of students to develop opinions that differ from those of their parents and grandparents.

“This is going to lead to generations of new kinds of adults, new kinds of White adults, who are unwilling to support far-right policies and cultural norms,” she said.

Griffin described those who oppose teaching CRT as “right-wing,” specifically calling out Manhattan Institute scholar Christopher Rufo, Fox News, Prager University, and Pennsylvania state Rep. Barbara Gleim (R-Carlisle).

A spokesperson for GVSD did not respond to requests for comment.

Gleim was not happy to be named in the video and noted the bill the Michigan group linked her to was actually one sponsored by another legislator.

She spoke to PASA Executive Director Mark DiRocco, who apologized and deleted the webinar video.

“I was disappointed and I was really sad,” said Gleim. ”What can you do? The damage is done.”

“It’s disappointing and you know why it’s disappointing? That with all of the professional development that we need to be giving after COVID, with such a learning gap and this is what we need to start talking about? Instead of really concentrating on the students and their academic achievement, we are spending all this time– that thing was at least an hour long– we are spending all this time teaching administrators what CRT is and how not to tell parents that we actually have it woven in and out of the curriculum.”

“It’s sad and it’s shameful,” Gleim said. “I am for public education and I want to elevate these students and start teaching them the basics.”

On the last slide there is a logo from the Zinn Foundation, which was started by the late historian Howard Zinn, “a confessed Marxist,” she said.

“At the end, there’s a truth oath and it’s sponsored by a Marxist organization,” she said. Ironically, the truth oath appears after Griffin urges administrators to lie to parents. More than 100 administrators statewide signed up for the webinar, she said.

Despite the controversy, DiRocco defended PASA’s decision to make the race-based content available to members. He said PASA requested the free informational webinar because there were a lot of questions about CRT at that time and many of their members “had never heard about it.”

Videos are typically removed from the site in 60 to 90 days because they do not have much server space, he said.

“It was informational,” he said about the pro-CRT video. “We are an apolitical organization. We don’t have any stance on CRT. We don’t have a position on CRT.”

Critics like Chambers reject that claim.

“This course settles it once and for all: the fact that GVSD administrators use Critical Race Theory in our schools,” said Chambers. “What makes this even worse is that PASA is sponsoring this training throughout Pennsylvania. CRT is ingrained in the Pennsylvania education system. We all need to make our voices heard to the school board and the district. It is your money they are using for this course and for the CRT social indoctrination of the children.”

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Malvern Mom Threatens Lawsuit Against Great Valley Over Sexually Explicit Books

Fenicia Redman learned from another parent about obscene books in the libraries at Great Valley High and Middle schools about 10 months ago.

Since then, she has made it her mission to have those books removed and is now preparing to file a federal lawsuit.

Redman’s son attends Great Valley High. She was determined to do something about the books that she deemed offensive. So, the Malvern mom went to the school board and complained but got nowhere. The books remained.

Redman also filed a police report and went to the Chester County district attorney, who took no action.

She spoke to Republican gubernatorial candidates about the books and finally, with a group of other parents, Redman held a protest at the state capitol in Harrisburg. That protest has gained some support for her cause among legislators, including state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican running for governor, and state Rep. Barbara Gleim (R-Camp Hill).

But with the books remaining in Great Valley School District libraries, Redman is taking another step. In March, she served the school board with a notice of intent to sue. Now she plans to launch a lawsuit in federal court.

“You’d better believe it when I say I will crawl on broken glass,” said Redman. “I’ll walk barefoot. I’ve got Lady Justice on my side, and if she knew what (the school officials) were doing to our children, she would lock them up.”

Bruce Chambers, a former Great Valley School Board president, said, “I greatly admire Fenicia Redman’s determination to pursue this issue through litigation. I find it ironic and sickening that the Great Valley School Board refused to listen to her at a school board meeting and actually left the room when she displayed pages from the books. They weren’t willing to look at the images from the books, yet they make them readily available for the children in their library.

“You only have to go to the Great Valley High School Library’s TikTok page to see what is important to the school district in the ‘education’ of our children. The first video you access on the site is ’10 Sweet Queer Graphic Novels’ which will display each of these novels for the children to check out. This is what we are paying for with our taxpayer money. It is outrageous, yet the school board and the district won’t even address the issue.

“They should not be surprised that a taxpayer is pursuing litigation against them,” Chambers added. “The district is more concerned with social indoctrination than educating the children for their future.”

Redman is basing her complaint on federal law that makes it a crime to show obscene materials to minors. It includes Section 1466A of Title 18, which prohibits anyone from knowingly producing distributing, receiving, or possessing with intent to transfer or distribute, visual representations, such as drawings, cartoons, or paintings that appear to depict minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and are deemed obscene.

And Section 1470 of Title 18 prohibits anyone from knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer obscene material using the U.S. mail or any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce to a minor un16 years old.

Redman said she cited those statutes to the school board for several months, “so they’ve had this knowledge of this federal law.”

And Redman said if she needs to, she will take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her are exhibits ready, Redman said. They are enlarged pictures of scenes in various school library books, such as “Gender Queer,” that depict sexual acts in graphic detail, which she has taken to the state capital. While the posters were being displayed, ironically, a capitol police officer told her to take the exhibits down because children might see them.

And there are books with graphic prose as well as books with obscene pictures, she added.

One book, “Push,” tells the story of a girl who is raped by her father.

“And that is heterosexual graphic, criminal material,” she said. “What literary, scientific or educational, or health purpose does it have? That is traumatizing to a child who has no idea.”

“That is a question America needs to hear,” said Redman. “And how many other books are they hiding?

To fund her lawsuit, Redman has started a Go Fund Me page. A spokeswoman for the school district did not respond to a request for comment.

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Parents Speak Out About Great Valley Transgender Secrecy Policy

Several parents told the Great Valley School Board at a recent meeting they oppose a policy requiring teachers and counselors to keep it secret from parents when a child is questioning their own gender.

The policy came to light recently when a whistleblower teacher came forward to discuss the issue with the Delaware Valley Journal.

Parents reacted strongly to that story.

“Young children do not have the emotional and mental maturity to make such a life alternating, complicated decision, such as identifying as the other gender,” said Hillary Schmid, a parent. “In fact, it’s totally developmentally inappropriate. Here are some facts: The female brain is not fully developed until 21 years old, the male 25 years old. Feeling like one is the opposite gender is called gender dysphoria. ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5’ defines gender dysphoria as clinically significant distress or impairment related to a strong desire to be of the opposite gender. Gender dysphoria is a mental health diagnosis. Signs include depression, loneliness, anxiety–all mental health conditions–as well as discomfort in their birth gender. This diagnosis is made by a trained psychiatrist.

“Unless parents have given the doctor’s report stating so, no staff should take the word of a young child and refer to the child as a different name/pronoun,” Schmid said.

Another parent, Andrew McClellan, said he has gay and transgender people in his extended family and he is not homophobic or transphobic. However, he added that he does not believe school officials have the right to withhold such significant information from parents.

McClellan opposes “the liberties that the schools have taken, literally taking decisions away from parents. And, what relates directly to this is transgender grooming. They do it in secret. If it was so desirable and so on the up and up and if they were truly trying to help people, why wouldn’t they do it out in the open? Why would it be so covert? In my opinion, it’s none of the school’s business, whatsoever.”

Sally Campbell, a mother and a pediatric nurse who had previously run for the school board, told board members she has lived in the district for decades and no longer recognizes it. She also opposes the policy to keep parents in the dark about their children’s possible transgender proclivities.

“It’s a very sad day in Great Valley when a teacher is standing up for the children and wanting to protect the parental rights of the children and has to refer to themselves as a whistleblower. I see this individual as a hero,” Campbell said.

But another mom told the board she appreciates the way the district handled her child’s wish to transition in 2020, although she was shocked at first.

“My son was not ready to tell me,” she said. As for other parents who are disturbed by the policy she said, “It is not that your child or the school is hiding something from you. It is that your child doesn’t feel ready to talk to you about it yet.”

The school district has cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as a basis for its policy. However, two attorneys have told DVJournal that FERPA says the exact opposite.

“I was very surprised to learn of the reference to FERPA in the district’s policy,” said Tena Herlihy, a lawyer who has experience representing educational institutions on FERPA matters. “FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of education records. However, FERPA gives rights to parents. Students do not have rights under FERPA until they reach 18 or attend school beyond the high school level.”

Herlihy added, “In fact, if there are educational records that are revealed by the district, including a student’s name, without permission of the parent, that is a violation of FERPA subject to penalties that could include loss of federal funding.”

Schmid noted the inconsistency in how the school district handles health issues.

“You must have our permission to give kids Tylenol. But you can keep a secret of such significant information that will have consequential effects?” she asked.

“I find it appalling that the official policy of the district is for staff to intentionally mislead and withhold information regarding their children. When a child is confused regarding such a serious matter, the parents should be notified immediately

“It’s ok if a child goes to a staff member that they trust to talk to. But then the next step is to notify the parents. You do not get to make decisions about our children’s mental and physical health. You did not birth them. We make the decisions. Schools have zero right to withhold any information from parents,” Schmid said.

A spokesperson for the district did not respond to a request for comment.

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‘They Won’t Let Us Tell the Parents:’ Whistleblower Teacher On Great Valley Schools Transgender Policy

If you are the parent of a child questioning their gender identity in the Great Valley School District, their teacher is not allowed to tell you.

In fact, under district policy, the teacher is required to keep that information secret from parents. And the teacher must also call your child by the name they choose and refer to them by the pronouns they wish.

“It seems to be a very disturbing thing to me, keeping this information from parents,” a long-time Great Valley school teacher told Delaware Valley Journal. DVJournal is withholding the teacher’s name at their request, to allow them to speak freely without the fear of backlash.

The educator said other teachers in the affluent Chester County district are also uncomfortable keeping the information secret from parents but are afraid to speak out.

In past years, a small number of kids might identify as a different gender, but since the schools opened again after the pandemic closure, the number of those students has exploded, they said.

“In September, the guidance counselor gave us the names,” the educator said. About 20 children per grade were either transitioning or thinking about changing their gender.

“We really wanted clarity,” the teacher said. “Why the district believed this was in the best interest of the kids for parents not to know this information?”

A spokesperson for the Great Valley School District did not respond to the Delaware Valley Journal’s requests for comment.

The teacher believes some staff members encourage kids to consider changing their gender. And some kids are doing it just to get attention. They have learned about being transgender on social media or through their peers or library books.

During puberty many kids are “confused and have discomfort about their bodies,” the teacher said. Most of the students who say they want to change their gender are girls, they added.

The district has even instructed elementary school teachers to withhold information about children questioning their gender.

“Especially, in the upper elementary (grades) it’s permeated so much of what we do,” the teacher said.

One concern is that children who are questioning their gender might also need mental health services. How will they get those services if their parents are being kept in the dark?

“How can we rationalize keeping this information from the very stakeholders who are in the best position to help? The parents.”

Also, clubs like Safe Space run by the guidance department are not on the district’s website, so parents have no idea they exist, the teacher said.

“It’s not on the same page as the chess club, the robotics club.” Parents “basically they don’t know.”

And any teacher who raises concerns over what can sometimes appear to be an ideological agenda in the schools is labeled “intolerant or bigoted,” the teacher said.

Bruce Chambers, a former school board president, shared an email that a guidance counselor sent to a teacher about a student who uses a different gender at school than at home:

  • Name in student’s records: Grace
  • Preferred name:  Greg
  • Preferred pronouns: they/them
  • Parent Awareness:  Greg’s parents are NOT aware. So please use Grace and the pronouns “she/they” if making contact with the parents
  • Greg mentioned that they will write “Grace” on papers in school since the parents will see those schoolwork papers

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The names were changed to protect the student’s identity.]

Chambers, who served on the board from 2009 to 2011 and was board president for two years, is appalled by the district’s current policy. He is a grandparent now and a “concerned citizen.”

“In this case, Grace has asked to use the name Greg and the pronouns they/them. The teachers are being instructed not to tell the parents about this and go along with the name and pronoun changes that the student wants. And, you see that the teachers are aware that the student is hiding it from her parents.  Also, note that the guidance counselor uses the student’s preferred name and pronoun in the last bullet,” Chambers said.

“So, basically the students are taking on a new gender, name, and pronouns in school, hiding it from their parents, and the district staff and teachers are instructed to conspire with the student to hide it from the parents,” said Chambers.

This is the district’s policy:

“All persons, including students, have a right to privacy, which includes the right to keep private one’s transgender status or gender-nonconforming presentation at school. Information about a student’s transgender status, legal name, or gender assigned at birth may constitute confidential medical or educational information. Disclosing such information to other students, their parents/guardians, or other third parties may violate privacy laws such as the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Therefore, school personnel should not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status or gender-nonconforming presentation to others, including the student’s parents/guardians and/or other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.

Transgender and gender-nonconforming students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share such private information. When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender or gender nonconforming student, school personnel should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth unless the student, parent or guardian has specified otherwise.”

There is no age given in the policy so it could be applied to students as young as kindergarteners, said Chambers.

“Teachers need to have a trust relationship with parents,” said Chambers.  “My wife (Janet) was a teacher and they pride themselves on having a relationship with parents. Holding something back is just contrary to a trusting relationship.”

 

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