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Letters to the Editor: I served on a school board. Policies on outing trans kids are appalling

People wave signs and pride flags outside a building
Opponents of a transgender notification policy protest outside a board meeting of the Orange Unified School District on Sept. 7.
(Ringo Chiu / For The Times)
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To the editor: During the eight years I served on the board of the Oak Park Unified School District, our decisions were based on the unwritten policy to do what was best for students. Never did we consider what was best for parents because we were legally responsible for the students and not the parents. (“Orange Unified board approves parental notification when a student identifies as transgender,” Sept. 8)

Thus, I am appalled at school districts making policies on behalf of parents that are not in the best interest of the students. The policies that require school employees to “out” transgender students to their parents are very wrong on two counts.

First, students who have a good relationship with parents who practice unconditional love for their children do not need such a policy. Those parents may already know about their kid’s gender identity.

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Second, for students who have parents who might have a problem with a transgender child, “outing” those kids places them at risk. How many children do those school boards want to put into homelessness?

David E. Ross, Oak Park

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To the editor: Why would parents want the schools to notify them if their child identifies as transgender or gender-nonconforming when it’s their job to be aware of who their child is and whether or not their child is going through an identity crisis, real or imagined?

These seem to be the same parents who claim to care about what their children are being taught and what they’re reading in order to protect them, and yet they’re willing to have the schools “out” them. Are they then going to blame the schools for the unfortunate consequences their child will inevitably go through both at home and at school?

This doesn’t sound like protection to me.

Sheryl Kinne, Van Nuys

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To the editor: Amid the controversy, can we spare a moment of sympathy for the harried, overworked teachers and administrators now being ordered to phone parents to notify them that “your daughter asked to be referred to by a nickname,” that “your son was wearing a skirt when you dropped him off this morning,” or that “another kindergartner kissed your daughter at recess”?

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Douglas Green, Sherman Oaks

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