August 30, 2006
California Elementary Makes Gender Optional from staff reports
School encourages students to question being a boy or girl.
An elementary school in California has installed a gender-neutral bathroom and is encouraging boys to play girls and girls to play boys in skits.
The staff at Park Day School in Oakland, Calif., has also hired a consultant who is well-known within the gay community to teach the school how to accommodate kids who may be questioning their gender.
Officials at the school were unavailable for comment.
Psychologist Warren Throckmorton told Family News in Focus that there are problems with the school’s approach.
“There are a lot of conditions hormonal-type conditions and so forth where kids can feel confused,” he said. “But for adults to take that and make it into something that applies to adult conflict is way inappropriate.”
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said it’s not the role of educators to decide what’s best for children who may express confusion over gender.
“It is the role and responsibility of the parent to see that their child gets help finding a counselor,” she said, “a doctor that can work with them to help them with their child.”
Throckmorton said each situation should be handled individually. He sees only trouble ahead when schools get involved.
“To tell a young child or to imply in some way, including by how you treat them,” he said, “that how they are feeling now is how they are always going to feel, misunderstands child development and misunderstands how children form their internal world.”
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