NROP: Schools – educational or harmful?

Many schools in the US are re-opening their doors this week. It is a symbolic marking of the end of the summer for many. Even though many parents worked during their kid’s summer break, I would venture a guess and say that they spent more time with their kids than they normally do during the school year. Or so I hope.

For generations, teachers were parent replacement. During school hours, it was them you listened to, they taught and disciplined you. There was no doubt about it that teachers play(ed) a vital part in raising any kid. In the perfect scenario, parents and teachers worked in tandem, filling in the gaps when needed.

Back when I was a kid, I would try an excuse some of my worse grades with “The teacher hates me and has it out for me.”, but my parents had none of that. They knew better than to listen to a kid. That does not mean that they did not believe me. I know that if I REALLY had some issues, they would step in and help. But there was no need.

Granted, not all teachers are equal. Some were called to do that and some were there just to earn a paycheck. That is the case with almost any profession. Is it not? The perfect teacher is an educator in more sense than one. The perfect teacher does not only teach the material from the syllabus, but also teaches about life, ethics and morals.

During my younger days, I was told that if I disobeyed a teacher, not only would my parents condone any punishment I received in school, but they would also administer their own at home. Since I was a pretty good kid, I do not ever remember that happening, but the fear in me was instilled. Maybe that is why I WAS such a good child?

Being a teacher has not always been easy. Disrespecting a teacher seems to be on any child’s mind. Whether conscious or not. It is like we are wired to rebel against authority. In my opinion, being a teacher is so much more difficult nowadays. Aside from teaching the material, a teacher needs to worry about anything they say and do. Sure, they need to be held accountable, since they play a crucial role in the life of a child, but to what degree? Sure, in the past, some teachers abused their power and scarred some kids. No one is perfect.

Where am I going with this? If you are a returning reader of mine, chances are you have seen other posts I wrote on the topic of schools and related controversies. It is a topic close to my heart, because I am aware of the fact that humans during their school years, are rather malleable. They are developing and learning about the world around them. Since often times both of the parents work full – time, not every kid has the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with their parents every day. Parents cannot do it all. That is why they rely on substitutes – teachers.

Unfortunately, I feel like the minds of our kids are under attack. Not only are the teachers NOT on the parents’ side, but they are actually firing dodgeballs from enemy line towards the parents.

In Illinois, parents are having a tough time with their daughter, who identifies as a boy. At the age of 14, their daughter, who until then displayed no preference towards being a boy, decided that she was in fact a he. This is a rather difficult case, not only because the kid turned into a boy overnight after befriending another transgender colleague, but also because she has some other issues, which could have fueled the problem.

She was a normal kid growing up, but she had trouble making and maintaining friends. It was later assessed that she was on the autism spectrum. However, when she went into high school, she was approached by a kid who had recently come out as transgender. Following that encounter, the girl decided she was now a boy and picked out a male name for others to call her/him.

The article mentions that the girl has some “mental health challenges”, but it does not clarify if that encompasses autism or maybe something else. Even though the school’s staff was aware of her said challenges, they still honored her wishes when she came out as transgender and started calling her by the male name.

While the teachers used a male pronoun with her, the parents had no idea what was going on. Once they found out, however, they asked that the school keeps calling their daughter by her legal name and the social worker present at that meeting mentioned that it was their right to request such. The parents thought everything was resolved. Only it was not – business continued as usual and at school the girl was a boy.

Once the parents took things to the district’s superintendent, they found out that the “laws” the schools hide behind are really guidelines sent out by the former president and rescinded by the current one. The American Civil Liberties Union, whose mission is to “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States” sent out letters to schools, in which they state that a student’s gender identity should be protected from their parents. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, however, explicitly states that a parent has access to anything related to their kid until they turn 18. When have we stopped obeying the law and started paying attention to arbitrary guidelines?

The girl told her parents that the school’s social worker was recommending halfway houses to her because of the fact that her parents did not support her choices. Is it OK to encourage kids to run away from home?

A psychologist consulted by the family believes that the sudden girl to boy change is related to the girl’s mental issues. Kids will do anything to fit in. Why do kids smoke? Why do they do drugs? Why do they dress a certain way? To fit in often times. This girl had trouble making friends. All of a sudden, a transgender person approaches her. Becoming transgender overnight is possibly her move to fit in.

Multiple states have issued a “conversion therapy” ban, which means that a therapist cannot question a child’s gender identity. To me that is a huge red flag if a mental health specialist cannot ask their patient about such an important thing.

The school has reaffirmed this girl. They have done nothing to find the truth. They just listened to the child and disregarded everything her parents said.

In New Jersey, schools are meant to be “mindful” about kids’ identities. The educators in that state also received a document which encourages them to report parents on the “Child Abuse, Neglect, and Missing Children” website, should the parents not agree with their kid’s transitioning.

How far do we go? When should we encourage and stand by the kid, and when should we back off and entrust the parents?

Is parenting something kids can benefit from when they so want and refuse it when it collides with their wants?

Stay golden,

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27 thoughts on “NROP: Schools – educational or harmful?

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  1. WOW!
    In a little rural town in Middle America, there was also a girl who decided she was more boy than girl. She hung out with the boys, dressed like the boys, talked like the boys. Someone found out she was a girl and she was raped multiple times by the boys she hung out with to prove to her she was a girl, and then she was murdered. “Transgender” didn’t used to be a choice. If you had boy parts you were a boy, if not you were a girl.

    Not every parent is going to leap to their child’s defense on how they identify. I’m afraid I wouldn’t. That would allow CPS to remove my child from my house because of a hostile environment. I had kids that barked and meowed when they were little and wanted to be dogs and cats. Did that make them dogs and cats? No. How you identify is a matter of opinion, and opinions can change. It is NOT up to the schools to enforce the mores of current, popular, social behavior. I’d say her friends can call her anything she wants, but if she is registered with a girl’s name, she should be addressed by that name by the teachers. Legally, her name is whatever the birth certificate says and must be changed by her, her parents or guardians.

    Encouraging a 1/2-way house would require the parents’ permission as she is underage. It would have to be prescribed by a judge to remove her from the custody of her parents and that would require proof of neglect or abuse. I’m afraid that the burden of proof is not a very high bar at this point.

    Is conversion therapy banned for people that identify as bullies or kleptomaniacs or any other mental deviance? (Deviant meaning not conforming to what is considered normal behavior, not in essence bad or good, just different.) Why can’t the therapist get to the bottom of the question: Why do you believe you are a boy?

    Homeschool…you actually get to teach the kids something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know how you go to a candy store and there are so many choices? Your head starts spinning and you don’t know which candy to pick. You might want them all. Or you might focus on one that is not there and throw a tantrum. In conclusion – choices aren’t always good. Sometimes we are better off not having one. In this instance, people just get confused.

      It frightens me to see the progress in parent – kid relationship. It’s been deteriorating over the years, giving parents less and less control. I’m not saying that parents should be control freaks and govern every aspect of their kid’s life, but young people need guidance. If we just let them loose…

      I was also thinking of legal issues. I think I explored that in one of my older posts. What if we started committing crimes and then changing our gender and name? I bet that wouldn’t make it easier on the cops to find us. Just a thought. If this isn’t happening yet.

      Admittedly, I am not an expert of half-way home rules. I know that they are places where homeless people can live. What if the kid runs away from home and is labeled “homeless”? But also what you said – the kid might argue toxic environment, torture and who knows what else.

      The conversion ban completely stumped me. Again, we are building such a sensitive society in which nothing can be said or asked without the fear of getting killed. We cannot blow, because their house of cards might fall. How utterly ridiculous.

      Like

  2. A fascinating discussion on something that is indeed fragile. So many go through those identity quests at a young age and many still are on that quest way past the age of 18. It is something that no teacher or parent could answer for them and something that every kid will have to learn by themselves. If those decisions put them in harm’s way, then the intervention of an adult (teacher or parent) is thus needed and that is where they have the responsibility of enlightening the kid so that they understand what their options in life are, how they are supported and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about the fact that everyone needs to answer their own questions and learn on their own. However, I truly believe that some sort of guidance during younger years is needed. How would you know where to cross the street if someone didn’t tell you when you were a kid?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Guidance is necessary. And I guess that’s where we are able to distinguish good and bad guidance, depending on the kind of message we give the kids. It’s just when the type of guidance offered is VERY invasive and doesn’t promote self-introspection but simply TELLS you what to do, that I think might need to be… frowned upon? Heheh

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just watched an episode of this “make-over” show. The subject had just had “top surgery” meaning she had her breasts removed. She’d been taking testosterone long enough that she had a nice beard going. The height of the episode was when she, now a he, got his license changed to reflect that he was now a male. He had decorated his house celebrating his “queerness” and I got confused. Now that he’s a he, does he crave companionship with men or women? There were lots of tears…she’d been kicked out of the house at 17 and rejected by her mom. How could anyone do that to their own kid? Now that she was a he, they made-over his image of what a man should like and wear, redid his apartment, and got him clothes that would make him look more masculine. I still don’t understand why you have to look a certain way to be treated a certain way and do certain things. I cannot fathom anyone’s craving to be able to go into a men’s public restroom. Eww. Women are mechanics and carpenters and musicians and athletes and scientists and teachers. If everyone saw themselves as a person first and their sex as just the plumbing, wouldn’t they feel better?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fact that they call it “top” and “bottom” surgery just goes to show how important our body parts are not. Women after mastectomies wish they could have their breasts back and these people mutilate themselves without a second thought.

      Sexual preference was always something that peaked my interest when it comes to transgender people. Unfortunately, I was never able to get a solid answer. Sometimes I wonder if people change genders just to be (or not be) day.

      I think there are many benefits (and disadvantages) of being a man or a woman. In today’s society – you can perform almost any job no matter what gender you are. But if you start dressing like a guy, soon the boobs will get in the way. And if you are dressing like a girl, soon you will want a cleavage. It just spirals. It never stops.

      That’s the thing – people have trouble accepting themselves in general. People lack coping skills. Everything needs to either be silenced or bent to their liking.

      Like

    1. Agreed. My upbringing was rather rigid. Often times I was not given an option. Did I rebel? Maybe slightly. But what that allowed me to do was to observe what I was supposed to do and then try to figure out why. It taught me reasoning. I would consider my parents’ explanations and then my own preferences and I would try to see if I could mesh them together to come up with the perfect outcome. Otherwise, if you have no idea what you should do, you might fall into a hole and not be able to get out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! But we’re in the age of hypersensitivity: If you’re not catering to a child’s every whim, you’re bullying them and you’re a terrible person and you need to be put in prison or whatever. And if some opponent of yours cries because they’re losing, then YOU should roll over and give them the win, because otherwise, you’re mean, and you’re stealing dreams, and again, you’re a terrible person! 😑

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What happened to parents being the legal guardians of children? Sure, the schools care about the well-being of their students and they must report any signs of abuse or neglect if it is suspected. But to go as far as going against the parents in a case where a student chooses to identify as a different gender is too much. Yes, the school should respect that choice, but ultimately the parents are in charge. Recommending a halfway house because the parents do not support their child’s choices is ludicrous. What if the child chooses to drink alcohol or do drugs? Should the school move to take action because the parent’s don’t support that choice? When it comes down to choices, we all have a choice to be who we want to be. As a minor under the age of 18, that individual is still developing and not at full maturity yet. The school should respect the choice of identifying as another gender, but not go as far as to encourage it or discourage it. As for parents, ultimately, it’s their house and their rules. Whether they choose to support their child or not in that matter, they should still care for their child no matter what. Once the child becomes a legal adult, they may proceed to take all action in becoming the other gender. I don’t even want to get started on our education system.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly my question. I remember there being a court case a couple of years back because the kid’s parents didn’t agree on a testosterone (?) therapy. I think the grandmother was supportive, so they were trying to give HER parental rights instead. I’m not sure how this ended up, but it was just insane that it had any merit to get that far in the legal system.

      Where do we draw the line? Where can parents step in and when do they have to back away.

      I’d go as far as to say that kids don’t often mature until past 18, but I’m not trying to change the entire system here.

      My parents were always over the top “our house, our rules”. I hated it. I’m still surprised they didn’t lose me, because it was REALLY exaggerated at times. But it is what it is. I survived and turned out… alright. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The whole thing has gone sideways. We live in a time where parents can get into legal trouble for disciplining their own children! That line has become blurred, with both parents and children abusing their authority and rights. It’s necessary to step in when any kind of abuse happens, but not when the parents are doing their job in correcting and guiding their children into adulthood. The fine line is in that old law that goes, “Honor thy mother and father,” or something like that. A line that seems to be crossed too often now. We all have flaws, parents too. They aren’t perfect, but they should be respected nonetheless. A child is free to be who he or she wants to be, but they need to abide by the rules of the parents because they are still…. wait for it… children! I agree that most don’t fully mature until years after 18, and this goes to show that aside from the flaws we have as humans, they are not making fully mature decisions yet. I can’t speak for everyone as we are all different. Some mature faster than others, but because of the young age they are more prone to outside influence in their decisions whether they know it or not.

        Anyhow, these are just the thoughts from someone who’s crossed that line too often, and gone too far.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This one is a very sensitive topic. Hard to debate without offending someone. I treat people as they are, but I can’t say that I struggle with how those who are self-identifying are almost coming up with a new thing every day. Then on top of that, they expect the general public to already know how to address them, initially that is. For me, if you look a certain gender, I will assume your just that, only don’t be offended by my ignorance and start pegging me as a hater.

    Liked by 1 person

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