Parents Mobilize to Halt Rule Allowing K-12 Children to ‘Self-Identify’ Gender and Race

Parents and family groups have succeeded in putting a halt to a proposed rule in Delaware that would have allowed children in grades K-12 to self-identify as a gender or race without the consent of their parents.

According to the text of Regulation 225 – referred to as an “anti-discrimination” regulation – Delaware school officials may not wish to trust parents with the information their child wants to identify as the opposite biological sex or a different race, if those parents are not fully on board with their child’s decision:

7.4 All students enrolled in a Delaware public school may self-identify gender or race which is maintained in eSchoolPLUS.

7.4.1 A school may request permission from the parent or legal guardian of a minor student before a self-identified gender or race is accepted; provided, however, that prior to requesting the permission from a parent or legal guardian, the school should consult and work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent or legal guardian is aware of the Protected Characteristic and is supportive of the student, and the school shall take into consideration the safety, health and well-being of the student in deciding whether to request permission from the parent or legal guardian.

“Policies like Regulation 225 are setting parents up as a ‘non-ally’ and ‘unsupportive,’ discriminatory, even abusive, if they affirm their child’s biological realities and work through it instead of embracing the confusion,” states Delaware Family Policy Council – which spearheaded opposition to the rule.

The group continues that while all children should be treated with respect, and gender-confused children should receive “compassionate accommodations,” the rule obstructs “the right of parents to care for their children without government intrusion.”

“Regulation 225 fails to protect the privacy and safety of all students,” Delaware Family Policy Council continues. “Students may claim or ‘self-identify’ as the opposite gender at any time and have access to the locker rooms, showers, restrooms, overnight accommodations, and any school activity (sports team) that is gender specific.”

Council president Nicole Theis worked to gather over 8,000 petitions against the policy, including 11,000 comments in the state register within the 30-day comment period.

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins observes that, as a result of the effort, Gov. John Carney (D) has announced a delay of the rule. The comments will be reviewed in January and – if significant changes are made – the rule will be published again with another 30-day comment period.

The regulation is backed by LGBT rights supporters.

“This shouldn’t be in question: discrimination is blatantly wrong,” said Rep. Debra Heffernan (D) in November, according to Delaware State News, about the regulation. “Kids deserve to be safe in our schools, and without the fear of being bullied because of who they are or what they wear.”

“The Department of Education crafted this anti-discrimination policy at Gov. Carney’s direction so that students can learn in an inclusive environment where they can feel safe and respected,” she added. “That inclusive environment is essential for all children to learn and grow.”

Rep. Rich Collins (R), however, said the regulation “opens Pandora’s Box. It has the potential to twist schools up in knots.”

Collins added the rule is invalid because it is “not based on any legal authority granted by the General Assembly.”

According to Delaware State News, Indian River School District Board of Education sent a letter to the state education department last week, objecting to the regulation.

The news report states:

Among the concerns cited by board members are worries about a non-transgender student taking advantage of “the premise of this regulation to gain access to private areas within the school,” which could “open the school district to substantial litigation.” The proposal also places “the district in direct conflict with students and their parents” and could lead to lawsuits and a lack of trust between the district and parents, board members wrote.

Most state House Republicans – 14 of 16 members – sent a letter to Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting last month, urging her to reject the statewide regulation and allow local school districts to handle related issues as they see fit.

More parents of all political stripes are dismissing the claims of LGBT activists – often funded by wealthy progressive philanthropists – who accuse them of bigotry and discrimination for not accepting an ideology that rejects the scientific fact of the existence of two biological sexes – male and female.

Polls show a strong majority of ordinary Americans oppose the claim that unverifiable “gender” is more significant than a person’s sex. Polls also indicate that Americans want sexual privacy in bathrooms and shower rooms – and especially in K-12 schools. Finally, the polls show that most Americans want to be polite and helpful to the very few gender dysphoric individuals who wish to live as members of the other sex. According to one study of the 2010 census, the population of transgender people amounts to one in every 2,400 Americans, or 0.03 percent of the adult population.


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