U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona refused to say that parents should be informed if their child is undergoing a gender transition at school during congressional testimony on Thursday.
The secretary's non-answer came under questioning before the House Education and Labor Committee by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who repeatedly asked Cardona if he thought schools should keep a student's gender transition secret from their parents.
"Parents and schools must work together to support students," Cardona said, adding that the "policies and practices" enacted by the administration indicated that.
OHIO SCHOOL DISTRICT ADOPTS POLICY OF HIDING GENDER TRANSITIONS FROM PARENTS
"Should schools ever keep it a secret from parents if their children are involved in gender transition?" Banks asked again.
Cardona replied: "Schools should be partnering with parents on communication, and there are times when schools are working and supporting students on issues that are very sensitive, but I do believe that parents should be connected with schools, and, in many cases, working together is what's going to help the student."
"I have spoken to students who shared, whatever situation is at their home, that they felt safe at the school, and we have to be careful not to turn this into something that it's not," the secretary continued. "Our schools are safe places for our students, and our teachers are often the front-liners when it comes to supporting our students when they have issues in their lives."
Cardona's response did not please Banks, who remarked that it was "a very bizarre answer" before yielding the rest of his speaking time.
Numerous school districts across the country have adopted policies restricting staff from notifying parents if their child chooses to identify as transgender while at school, with many citing Department of Education guidelines as the justification for the policy.
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In Florida, the parents of a middle school girl are suing their daughter's school district after the school neglected to notify them about their daughter's desire to use male pronouns and a masculine name. According to the lawsuit, the school only notified the parents of their daughter's gender dysphoria after she attempted to commit suicide while on school grounds for a second time.