Republicans urged Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to clarify that schools are legally required to disclose students’ gender identity to parents in a Thursday letter.
The letter, signed by Republicans Rep. Virginia Foxx and Sen. Richard Burr, comes in light of news that a 12-year-old girl reportedly attempted suicide on a school bus in Clay County, Florida, after her school began referring to her a boy and calling her by a new name without disclosing the student’s gender identity to her parents.
“The sheer fact that a 12-year-old student attempted to take her life after her own school refused to disclose conversations about a gender transition to her parents is repulsive,” Foxx told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Parents across this country deserve to know vital information about their children – and not be blindsided by the very people that are entrusted to teach them.”
Foxx and Burr urged Cardona to clarify that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) explicitly states that schools cannot have policies that deny parents the right to review the educational records of their children. “Actively concealing vital health information from parents ‘effectively prevents’ parents from accessing information to which they are entitled,” the letter said.
The letter also challenged guidance from the Obama administration instructing schools to treat gender identity as a protected category through Title IX, which has traditionally been used to promote gender equality in education.
The letter asks whether “school personnel should practice other forms of medical or psychological treatment without appropriate licensure or training” and “what other medical or psychological treatments [the department believes] that school personnel should provide to minor children without parental consent.”
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