In response to “Our View: Who’s the Parent? Not the State,” Nov. 11.
Thank you for recognizing the fundamental issue in the parental notification debate: “If a minor child just mentions a sexual identity choice, no notification is necessary.” As you correctly point out, tweens and teens go through phases. Issues of attraction and gender identity can be fluid during this time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with an adult recognizing their sexuality.
You also correctly point out that, “At no time and in no way should the district allow a life-altering medical procedure or medications to be administered without first notifying the parent and getting parental permission.” I do not know anyone who is advocating that a minor should be able to receive such medical treatment without parental consent. In this context, your headline is confusing. I know of no state laws, proposed or on the books, that would take such medical decisions out of the hands of parents. Why are you implying that such laws exist or are proposed?
We are in agreement on the basics. Medical decisions are made by parents. Issues of attraction or gender identity should be viewed as acceptable teenage behavior and no adult should be forced to discuss them with parents, especially in cases where the student does not feel safe. If gender and attraction issues are accompanied by threats of potentially harmful behaviors, teachers and staff need to fulfill their roles as mandated reporters and report this behavior. As long as all parties agree to these fundamentals, I am sure our community can work together to come up with policies that acknowledge these agreements.