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Q: What do you call ongoing mistakes in one particular direction?
A: Example #10, Dublin City Schools.
I received this photo of a “gender affirming clothes bucket “ this morning from a couple of different people. I have been told that it is sitting in the teacher’s lounge at Jerome High School. Can you please tell me whether this is a legitimate photo, what the purpose of the box is, where the box is located, how it is used and who can access it?
Thank you for your time.
After consulting with the leadership team at Jerome High School, the clothing box was created by a student-led organization before Covid (2018-19). It has been kept in a counselor's office, but has never been accessed by students. When it came to the administration's attention, the box was moved to the Teacher's Lounge. Again, it was not available to students. It is now in an administrator's office; it is not available to students.
The Dublin City School District is committed to active communication and partnership with our parents. We foster a culture of collaboration and expect consistent engagement with parents/guardians. Policy changes this year have solidified the Board's expectations for parent/guardian voice and involvement. We commit to partnerships with families, community, and educators to provide a personalized educational experience for each student in our district.
Have a wonderful weekend!
John Marschhausen, Ph.D. Superintendent
Dublin City School District 614 760-4472
Thank you for the quick and direct response, John. I am copying the board on my reply so that they are aware of a few of my concerns.
I thought student organizations were supervised by a teacher? I would hope that whoever the supervisor was of whatever group this is has been spoken to about the box. I am sure the intentions were good, but - as you probably realize - the box seems to imply that the district not only gives students permission but encourages them to socially transition behind their parent's back.
I think after last year’s DCS trainings and surveys- which appear to give teachers and students the idea that the district’s general policy is to NOT tell parents if their child decides to "come out” to a district teacher - likely confused many people.
It would probably be a good idea for the district to consider doing some professional development regarding:
1) how social transitioning is a serious psychological and medical approach that needs the input and cooperation of doctors, therapists and parents,
2) the fact that affirming children at school can lead to medicalizing their beliefs and put them at risk for further and ongoing mental distress, and
3) a correction of last September’s LGBTQA+ training which supported the “affirm or suicide” model regarding gender dysphoria. That claim is based on a small handful of deeply flawed studies that, at most, find loose correlations between “affirming” interventions and improved mental health. Some find no reduction of suicide at all, and a new study claims to find that puberty blockers actually increase the risk of suicide.
If nothing else, it would be wise to let teachers know about all of the conflicting data out there and encourage them to stick to teaching academics instead of inquiring about their students' sexuality and gender.
I would also suggest looking into hiring a new law firm for DCS. Per Scott Scriven’s 2021 LGBTQA+ Legal Update, 1) the district does not have to require a medical diagnosis in order to recognize a student’s preferred gender identity and 2) when parents disagree with school representatives regarding a student’s gender identity support plan, the district determines the final accommodations or support.
Such advice is not only irresponsible (ignoring that social transition is part of a medical protocol with medical implications) but also completely at odds with DCS's declarations regarding parental involvement in the district.
Additionally, from my interactions with Erick Starkey over the last many months, it appears that your law firm is requiring legal review of all of my document requests. This is a curious practice since nearly everything I have asked for is public - such as teacher trainings. Seems like a waste of district funds -
Just some ideas. Thank you for your time -
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