Sponsored by Sen. Mike Moon (R), the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act prohibits all school personnel from encouraging sex orientation changes in children in middle and elementary school without parental or guardian permission.
Backers of the bill say it addresses what is already occurring in other states, including California, Main, New Jersey and Wisconsin where public schools have helped children change genders often without the knowledge or consent of parents.
Schools often have sided with children identifying as transgender over their parents. Studies show that upwards of 90 percent of children who initially identify as transgender, eventually grow out of the phase.
Maine parent Amber Lavigne’s daughter told her that she had been secretly identifying as transgender while at school, as previously reported.
A social worker, Sam Roy, encouraged Lavigne’s daughter in her transgender identity.
“[A worker] at the school encouraged a student to keep a secret from their parents!” Lavigne said. “This is the very definition of child predatory sexual grooming.”
Even without open encouragement, a school’s support can make the difference between a child choosing to transition or listening to parents, stories show.
Rachel, an anonymous parent, said her daughter used the approval of school employees as a justification for her transgenderism.
High school teachers referred to Rachel’s daughter with a man’s name, Rachel said.
“Ask anyone in my life. I’m a man. You are the only one who doesn’t see that, which means you’re, by definition, delusional,” Rachel recalls her daughter saying.
Whatever causes people to change their gender, it seems to affect young people the most. According to CDC studies, transgenderism is nearly three times as common among Americans 13 to 17 and under than among adults.
Schools have often encouraged transgenderism on the grounds of inclusivity, as previously reported. Across America, rainbow flags and stickers decorate publicly funded classrooms and hallways.
Don’t Teach Gender Transition
The bill’s text is simple.
“No nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, contracted personnel, or other administrative official at a public or charter school shall discuss gender identity or sexual orientation with a minor student unless such nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, personnel, or official is a mental health care provider licensed under chapter 337 with prior permission from the student’s parent or legal guardian,” the bill reads.
The bill further defines “gender identity” as a “preconceived notion of someone’s psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being a biological male or biological female.”
It defines biological males and biological females based on male or female genitalia.
The bill will likely pass Missouri’s Republican-held state legislature and governor.
The bill may find fresh urgency from whistleblower Jamie Reed. As previously reported, Reed announced that the Washington University Transgender Center engaged in unethical practices on children.
Formerly, Reed worked at the center.
These practices included continuing to prescribe transition medications even after a child’s parent revoked consent—and after patients reported adverse effects after taking those prescriptions, said Reed.
“We lied to [parents] all the time,” Reed said of her work at the center. “These doctors would push, and push, and push … and somehow the doctors thought that was a true good consent.”
Parents’ Rights and Free Speech
Missouri isn’t the first Republican-led state to consider legislature opposing sex changes for children. As previously reported, Oklahoma has a bill ending child sex change surgeries and cross-sex hormone use.
However, it remains to be seen if bills like Missouri and Oklahoma’s will survive challenges in court.
Some clues may be found in how U.S. law treats religion in schools.
According to a First Amendment Center guide, public school teachers must be neutral concerning religion while carrying out their duties as teachers.
But if students ask public school teachers about their religious beliefs, teachers can answer as long as they aren’t attempting to convert children, the guide says.
“The teacher may answer at most with a brief statement of personal belief—but may not turn the question into an opportunity to proselytize for or against religion,” the guide reads.
In short, these rules allow teachers to talk about religion if children ask about it.
But Missouri’s bill forbids school employees from even discussing gender identity with students. It remains to be seen whether such a strict ban can survive the courts.
There may be some precedent in laws that allow students to opt out of curriculum their parents find objectionable.
According to Parents Defending Education (PDE), many states allow parents to opt out of school curriculum they deem objectionable, such as sex education. But opting out isn’t a universal right under the law, PDE notes.
“Unfortunately, the ability to opt out of educational material is not universal. The majority of state laws were written specifically with sex and health instruction in mind,” its guide says.
Courts could decide whether parents should have the right to opt out of school speech about gender identity. Or they could decide that teachers should have the right to share their beliefs on gender.