Is a transition in motion?

Is a transition in motion?

Is a transition in motion?

As Arizona's largest school district has been busted for deceiving parents about their children's social gender transitioning, lawmakers are working to make sure detransitioners are treated fairly.

James Rogers, senior counsel of America First Legal (AFL), says Mesa Public Schools, a district with about 55,000 kids, used to explicitly require teachers and other school staff to keep students' gender transitions a secret.

"The school district claims that they stopped it, but there's nothing to show that that's actually happened," Rogers tells AFN.

As part of AFL's lawsuit against Mesa Unified Schools, which accuses educators of violating protected parental rights by secretly helping kids transition, a public records request was filed.

"What we've uncovered is a spreadsheet that was maintained by a school counselor at one of the junior highs in the school district that had a list of 17 students on it. The names had been redacted, but it lists the students' birthnames … their preferred names, and then their preferred pronouns."

The spreadsheet also notes whether the students' parents know their children have socially transitioned their gender in school.

"It has instructions about what names and pronouns to use when talking to parents to keep it concealed from the parents whether the students have transitioned," Rogers adds.

Suggesting that the teachers who do this believe they are helping students avoid conflict from their parents, he says encouraging students to not talk to their parents actually causes a lot of needless angst and problems.

One of AFL's clients in this current lawsuit, for example, is the mother of a girl who goes to Mesa Public Schools.

"She found out in October that the school had officially transitioned their daughter to use a male name in school, and the school had been hiding it from her," Rogers relays.

Once the mother found out, she talked with her daughter about it, and "her daughter was able to resolve her issues."

He says she is now fully comfortable presenting herself as a female and has switched back to using her birth name.

"If the school had talked to the parents, they could have resolved this girl's issues a lot sooner rather than her suffering in silence thinking she needed to hide it from her parents," Rogers contends.

This month, AFL submitted a new amended complaint that, for the first time, discloses the uncovered spreadsheet. They hope to hold the school district accountable for it.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are trying to make insurance companies consider the individuals who are detransitioning from their gender manipulation treatments.

A committee in the Arizona Senate has voted 5-2 to advance a bill that says if insurance companies pay claims for medical intervention for gender-confused youth, then they must also pay the bills for those transitioning back to their birth gender.

Cindy Dahlgren of the Center for Arizona Policy says detransitioners have been at a loss for help.

Dahlgren, Cindy (Center for Arizona Policy) Dahlgren

"The doctors and the insurance companies will get people into the transition mode, but then a lot of the detransitioners feel abandoned and stuck because there's no one to really help them get out of it," she tells AFN.

According to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, virtually all major insurance companies will pay for "affirming" treatments and surgeries.

"They have established that it is medically necessary, and so by calling it that, they have written all these policies to cover it," the communications director explains. "But there's nothing of the same for those who are detransitioning."

She affirms that the psychological problems suffered because of gender dysphoria are not remedied by hormones or surgery; only solid counseling can help with that. Furthermore, the majority of those who struggle with gender dysphoria outgrow it naturally by the time they reach the upper teen years.