Here Comes the Groom(ing)

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

Related Post Roulette

591 Responses

  1. Murali
    Ignored
    says:

    So, spell out the concern explicitly. Don’t dance around it. What is the precise concern here?

    One possibility is something like: 9 year olds are too young to understand the idea of sexual attraction or gender identity.

    I’m not a child psychologist and I know zilch about childhood education, so I don’t know how accurate this claim is. Maybe Kazzy can chip in. I also don’t know the details about the law, so 9 year olds may not even be involved

    Another one: There is something really icky about talking to 9 year olds about sex.

    The problem with this is that icky-ness has little place in rational policy discussions. First, icky-ness has a bad rep especially with how it has been used to block every progressive advancement. Secondly, how do we balance icky-ness against the value of warning children to be wary of sexual predators? If you find something icky, that’s just your personal peeve. Why should that be given any weight against the very objective harms some unsuspecting children might suffer at the hands of predators around them?Report

    • InMD in reply to Murali
      Ignored
      says:

      Not to speak for Kristin, but I think the precise concern is public employees counseling very young children on highly sensitive matters of sex and identity, potentially in very radical ways, without parental involvement, either by virtue of under the radar changes to the curriculum or activists in the administrative and teaching ranks.Report

      • Murali in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        So I can see an argument here: Matters of sex and identity are subject to reasonable disagreement (in the Rawlsian sense) therefore policies which allow the teaching of only one of these contestable views in public schools are illegitimate because said policies are not publicly justifiable.

        This is a public reason argument I could get behind. The question here is whether this concern accurately reflects what is going on in schools and whether the proposed law overreaches by requiring that schools teach another controversial doctrine in place.

        I thought the school policy was just about teaching young children how to beware sexual predators. Am I missing something?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          Reasonable disagreement! THIS STUFF SHOULD NOT BE UP FOR DEBATE!!!!

          No, wait. I meant that my conclusions shouldn’t be up for debate. Not yours.

          Can’t we talk about this?Report

        • Pinky in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re missing a lot. In fact, I don’t even think sexual predator awareness has even been mentioned in this debate.Report

          • Murali in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Ok, then, can anyone tell me what was actually taught in the schools such that it provoked this reaction?

            And what exactly does the law say that makes those on the other side think it is about banning schools from teaching about lgbtq identities?

            Obviously I’m missing some context here, and the noise to signal ratio seems unusually high. So, let’s try to hash out the bare facts of the case before we do the normative evaluation.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Murali
              Ignored
              says:

              I hope this doesn’t sound dismissive – it’s not – it just happens that a very good, short, neutral overview of the bill and debate is on Wikipedia, “Florida House Bill 1557”. I feel guilty recommending a Wikipedia entry, because it sounds too much like “google it”, but in this case it’s a good intro.Report

              • Murali in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, so wikipedia is helpful. Thanks.

                The law, as I understand it, has 3 parts

                1. No discussion of lgbt issues at all with those 9 and under in classrooms

                2. Age and developmentally appropriate discussion of these issues for those older in classrooms

                3. Some prohibition (unclear unless I read the actual text) on private companies and individuals from teaching kids outside the classroom?

                So this raises a few questions for me. 2 seems to be the most anodyne part. No one should be arguing for age inappropriate discussion. Schools have easy workarounds for 2 by just ensuring that any discussion that does take place is age appropriate.

                The first part is worrying because as Doctor Jay mentions below some children as young as 6 or 7 may experience gender dysphoria. Without saying too much about treatment options for trans children, children experiencing dysphoria should at least have counselling so that they can handle the emotional turmoil that they would experience.

                Is the third part even real? And why are private companies being dragged into this?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Murali
              Ignored
              says:

              One thing that needs to be clarified:

              If one school in Kansas uses the Gender Unicorn handout, this will be spun as “THEY ARE TEACHING THE GENDER UNICORN IN SCHOOLS!” when, really, it was one school in Kansas.

              There are probably somewhere around half as many school curriculae as there are school districts and just because one school district in *THIS* state does something it doesn’t mean that any other school district in the country does it.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Murali
      Ignored
      says:

      “So, spell out the concern explicitly. Don’t dance around it. What is the precise concern here?”

      I think our concern is how the pendulum of society is taking a sudden and massive swing back to “it’s all right for adults to talk about fucking to children whom they aren’t related to” and how people with reservations about this are being described as lame-o squares who aren’t cool.Report

      • pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        So your concern is the deranged homophobic conceit that when a gay person mentions they’re gay, they’re talking about fucking?

        Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought.Report

      • Murali in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Haven’t americans always had sex education in public schools since forever? I thought this was normal. I mean hear in Singapore, people would freak out, but that’s because everyone here is massively conservative and the laws actually censor content that portrays lgbt in a neutral or positive light. We still got the whole human reproduction thing covered in science class when we were 14.

        What is the historical context I am missing?Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          “Haven’t americans always had sex education in public schools since forever?”

          If you honestly think that “here are the basic functions of human anatomy” is equivalent to “let me explain the mechanics of masturbation, PS don’t tell your parents I told you this” then I can’t really imagine how further conversation with you would be useful.Report

          • Murali in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            let me explain the mechanics of masturbation, PS don’t tell your parents I told you this

            Did the second thing actually happen? And some teacher got away with this?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah especially since it was a private school, and the legislative push is all about what happens in public schools.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s the old Chinese Robber problem.

                Sure, you might find an example of a public school sex ed teacher acting inappropriately, but she got *FIRED*.

                Some argue that this proves that the system works WHEN ANOMALIES THAT ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE happen to pop up here or there, as is inevitable.

                Some argue that there needs to be a thicker hedge around the system. The point isn’t to run up to the line and stick one toe over it. The point is to not go up to the line.

                I can see how parents might argue for the latter rather than take comfort in the former.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Some argue that there needs to be a thicker hedge around the system.

                Some do, but most of the time they build hedges nowhere near the problems like this.

                And while doing it, they often run up to other lines–or barrel right on past them–yet the comfort of people, including parents, who take comfort in those lines is rarely addressedReport

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Some do, but most of the time they build hedges nowhere near the problems like this.

                Part of the problem at the root of everything is the whole “there *IS* grooming going on” problem.

                There is grooming going on in the public school system and whether it’s representative of it being a Chinese Robber problem or whether it’s well above an acceptable level of grooming is one of the arguments that strikes me as being an important one to hammer out prior to this particular debate.

                It seems likely to me that there are things that need to be bound before other things are loosened.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Part of the problem at the root of everything is the whole “there *IS* grooming going on” problem.

                I’m old enough to remember when there was a “terrorism going on problem”[1] that was much more unambiguous than the “grooming” problem here, and to remember policy responses that were implemented in order to deal with that terrorism problem.

                Axiomatically, I’m old enough to remember how many of those policy responses played out.

                I’m pretty sure you are too.

                [1] This started as a rhetorical flourish, but kids born on 9/11 will be celebrating with the customary first legal alcoholic drinks come September.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, comparing to terrorism is probably a good comparison except for the part where, holy cow, it’s not.

                Seem to be a lot more Johnny Walker Lindhs this time around, though.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok my analogy sucked.

                Setting it aside: the problem may be real, but real problems can be cited as reasons to implement terrible policies, and if advocates concerned about those problems reliably propose terrible policy solutions, we may start to suspect there’s something else going on.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, I’m sure that there’s something else going on!

                But the Chinese Robber problem requires a hell of a lot more delicacy than a mixture of “that’s not happening”, “that’s good though”, and “you only care because you own property”.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There is grooming going on in the public school system and whether it’s representative of it being a Chinese Robber problem or whether it’s well above an acceptable level of grooming is one of the arguments that strikes me as being an important one to hammer out prior to this particular debate.

                Two points of order:

                1. its incumbent on those using the term to enact all this legislation to present actual evidence of active grooming that is somehow over and above prior occurrences.

                2. Its on those same proponents to explain why all the existing laws are not sufficient enough to address the problem.

                Neither of those things is happening at present.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Yay! The Gun Control argument!

                I have sympathy for this argument.

                I just think that it’s going to be a tough sell and there’s a lot more groundwork to lay before the burden of proof is shifted due to the whole “somehow over and above prior occurrences” thing.

                There are some very nutty people out there who think that future prior occurrences need to be prevented beforehand because they’re not willing to accept that, hey, you can’t make an omelet.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “1. its incumbent on those using the term to enact all this legislation to present actual evidence of active grooming that is somehow over and above prior occurrences.”

                This is what’s weird on both sides… the law isn’t about grooming it’s about parental consent and age appropriate instruction (plus a sub-debate on whether sexuality is age appropriate at all for 8 and under – i like how people start to say 10, then 11, then try to stretch it to 12/13 and puberty.).

                The ‘groomer’ thing is Alinsky bombing the debate… like making ‘white supremacy’ the primary motivator for all opposition to many left positions.

                I object to the political rhetoric, but ‘don’t say gay’ is bad political rhetoric and trying to combat the law by saying that it’s not ‘actually’ grooming – maybe groomer adjacent in telling kids not to tell their parents – but we’re not grooming them, we’re introducing theories on sexuality that are not part of the general public consensus, and therefore not acceptable for public education.

                Which, as I said in previous discussions, will lead to Democratic Politicians being ‘forced’ into publicly stating that in matters of Sexuality for young children (8-under) Parents don’t have a say in what they should be taught or treated medically (esp. 8-18).

                That’s electoral suicide.

                This goes to Douthat’s column, which I discussed a bit with Pillsy on twitter… which is to say attempting to frame the arguments is all part of politics — there’s a chance that ‘Don’t Say Gay’ will win the framing debate and there’s a chance that ‘Groomer’ will win the framing debate… but in the end, just stating what the law says? That *will* win the debate and if you have concerns about enforcement or structure – that might be effective criticism, but trying to gaslight parents on this is going to cost votes (unless team red screws the rhetorical pooch with groomer, which is a very real possibility, but not a strategy).Report

              • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                This is what’s weird on both sides… the law isn’t about grooming it’s about parental consent and age appropriate instruction

                So certain politicians want us to think. But that’s not what they wrote into the bill. And has been pointed out, so much of what has been written in is so vague as to apply to almost anything. That will have a harmful effect on kids anyway you slice it.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                “there’s a chance that ‘Don’t Say Gay’ will win the framing debate and there’s a chance that ‘Groomer’ will win the framing debate”

                I think you’re a little off on this. The public, mainstream, non-twitter debate is and will be between “parental rights bill” and “don’t say gay bill”. Liberals can complain about teachers being called “groomers”, but they’d be foolish to make that the center of the debate, because it’s tiny and sniping and it puts the word “grooming” in a prominent role. “You’re comparing us to paedos” will trigger one of three responses among the moderate swing-type voter. 1 – Since when are all teachers liberals? 2. – Yeah, well, get a thicker skin if you want to be in politics. 3 – Maybe I should look into the grooming claim.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure… I was trying to get to the observation that neither will win the framing since the baseline Parental Consent will be the driver once we leave twitter/com-boxes.

                I do think Douthat made a good point about the FL laws enabling parents to bring complaints to the school boards (or for summary judgement) … if those claims are ‘frivolous’ or worse, ‘wackadoodle’, then the middle may likely turn against the law.

                I’d like to think parents will use the oversight system well, but I’m not confident that they will.Report

          • R2's Bad Motivator in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Hi, In NY way back in 1980’s we received Sex Ed in 5th grade. It was detailed in both physical and emotional parts of sex, the benefits of abstinence but also why people chose not to as well as STDs. We got it again in 7th grade Health Class, then again in 10th Grade Biology and then 12th Grade Health class. So from the age of 12-13 we were getting very detailed sex ed.

            Also, to make a point, the Florida bill isn’t banning Sex Education but instruction on Orientation and Gender Identity that to be fair can be explained with out mentioning sex at all. You can use words like Love or Marriage to convey the ideas.

            No one is crying about indoctrinating Heterosexual sex when mentioning a Husband and Wife or Boyfriend and Girlfriends. Why? Is it not the same thing, a romantic relationship?

            I believe that Conservatives don’t consider Same sex relationships are capable to be built on love and respect but solely on sex acts. They also believe it’s a choice(it’s not) so it’s easier to dismiss as a bad lifestyle choice rather than who these people are.

            I’d also like to mention Parents. LGBTQ parents or parents of LGBTQ kids not only exist, they should have the same rights as Heterosexual parents and kids. This includes representation. Why do conservatives leave them out of the discussion, like they are talking about them while not acknowledging that they’re in the room with you?Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to R2's Bad Motivator
              Ignored
              says:

              Hi, In NY way back in 1980’s we received Sex Ed in 5th grade. It was detailed in both physical and emotional parts of sex, the benefits of abstinence but also why people chose not to as well as STDs. We got it again in 7th grade Health Class, then again in 10th Grade Biology and then 12th Grade Health class. So from the age of 12-13 we were getting very detailed sex ed.

              Also, to make a point, the Florida bill isn’t banning Sex Education but instruction on Orientation and Gender Identity that to be fair can be explained with out mentioning sex at all. You can use words like Love or Marriage to convey the ideas.

              No one is crying about indoctrinating Heterosexual sex when mentioning a Husband and Wife or Boyfriend and Girlfriends. Why? Is it not the same thing, a romantic relationship?

              I believe that Conservatives don’t consider Same sex relationships are capable to be built on love and respect but solely on sex acts. They also believe it’s a choice(it’s not) so it’s easier to dismiss as a bad lifestyle choice rather than who these people are.

              I’d also like to mention Parents. LGBTQ parents or parents of LGBTQ kids not only exist, they should have the same rights as Heterosexual parents and kids. This includes representation. Why do conservatives leave them out of the discussion, like they are talking about them while not acknowledging that they’re in the room with you?

              whatReport

        • PD Shaw in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          I think sex education in the U.S. is something more than the anatomical coverage of human reproduction in biology class. It’s typically taught in health class with issues of sexually transmitted disease, contraception, consent, good/bad touching and different people you can see for support. It would be addressed with issues like healthy diet, exercise, drugs, importance of sleep, cleanliness, etc.

          In my state, parents can opt their child out of sex ed., and local school districts are generally not required to follow state programming in this area, so long as they offer sex ed. and its medically accurate.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to PD Shaw
            Ignored
            says:

            So, at my last school (a private school) I was recruited to teach 7th/8th/9th grade health, which included teaching an all-girls class about the menstrual cycle.

            I am not a middle/high school teacher.
            I am not a science teacher.
            I am not a health teacher.
            I am someone who has never had a menstrual cycle.
            Yet I was tasked with teaching a group of young women about a massively important part of their life, with zero training or preparation. And the reason I was chosen basically boiled down to because I thought it was important to teach. It took strenuous objection and a completely disastrous lesson before I was finally replaced. Because the admin in that school didn’t actually think it was important for these young women to get an even halfway-decent education about how their bodies work.

            Like, I still worry about those poor women and hope whoever replaced me and everything they got afterwards was immensely better than what I provided.

            And that should give you a sense of how seriously we take sex education these days.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Murali
      Ignored
      says:

      “9 year olds are too young to understand the idea of sexual attraction or gender identity.”

      I’m not particularly well-versed on this age but I have taken professional development workshops on sex ed and the like and I haven’t seen anything that would support that statement.

      I mean, some kids — more often girls — are entering puberty at 9.

      There is lots of good research out there on what kids are ready for and when. It’s not hard to find.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        The statement is also premised on a logical flaw.

        It is based on the idea that telling 9 year olds about a child with a mommy and daddy is neutral, asexual, but telling them about a child with two mommys is somehow “identity” and “sexual” and therefore inappropriate.

        Which is pretty much the whole ballgame right there. By that definition, gay and trans people cannot ever be equal citizens because they are special, in a special “adults only” section behind a curtain.Report

      • cam in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes. People who think 9 year olds are too young to understand the idea of sexual attraction or gender identity have never had 9 year old children. Or watched cartoons, even old cartoons from the 60s-70s where Bugs or Elmer had eyes bug out and hearts thump through their chests at the sight of an attractive female.

        As I recall, my kids started talking about who in their classes had ‘boyfriends’ or ‘girlfriends’ in 1st grade. The kids weren’t really dating in even the limited way that 4-6th graders were (such as meeting for school dances or going to movies together) but the kids were aware of the concept of people pairing off because they liked each other in a way beyond just friendship. The ability to understand attraction and gender identity isn’t digital. It doesn’t just suddenly emerge upon entering jr high.Report

  2. InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    Kristin, I could quibble with parts of this, and your piece deserves a larger response, not that I probably haven’t made it pretty clear where I stand on this issue over the last couple weeks in the comments. Unfortunately I have a crazy day so I just want to say thank you for writing it. There’s a premise floating around out there that parents are somehow the enemies of their own children, or that kids need to be rescued from the people that both care most about them and are most responsible for them. No parents are perfect but the whole idea is crazy and wrong.Report

    • pillsy in reply to InMD
      Ignored
      says:

      There’s a premise floating around out there that parents are somehow the enemies of their own children, or that kids need to be rescued from the people that both care most about them and are most responsible for them.

      For instance, the governor and AG of Texas decided that parents who consent to blockers and hormone treatments are guilty of abuse, and they should be thrown in jail and their kids should be put in foster care.

      Other Red States are not going quite so far, but they are criminalizing gender affirming care full stop.

      If the OP weren’t all about various forms of line-drawing and dot-connecting, I might take a different tack here.[1] But what people who don’t share these concerns see, a lot more than parents they can trust expressing relatable concerns and anxieties, is a group of activists, media figures, and elected politicians who are very clearly using parental rights as a pretext for persecuting LGBT folks.

      A lot of the time this is chalked up to backlash against administrators and teachers, but I really don’t see why we should credit anxieties about those administrators and teachers, whose actions are often not terribly well documented, while having our own anxieties about policy makers acting in bigoted and lawless ways waved off again and again and again.

      [1] Then again, I might not.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        pillsy, if my kid asked for extra testosterone and growth-hormone so that he could be 350 pounds at age 18 and be an NFL defensive end before he could drink, would you consider it merely a valid mode of gender expression and not a form of child abuse to give him those things?Report

      • InMD in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        I can very much meet you at what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and would fully cosign dehex’s comment at 12:11. All anyone ever has to say to get me to shut up about this is acknowledge it’s an issue between families and their doctors and that public elementary schools aren’t authorized or competent to weigh in, beyond perhaps general tolerance of the decisions others have made. As soon as we get there I am then more than happy (ecstatic, frankly) to go to my default position that matters of this nature are none of my or the government’s business.Report

        • Philip H in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          If a child is being abused by their parents over this – which does happen – its the school’s LEGAL RESPONSABUILITY to step in. If a child is comfortable enough with a teacher or a guidance counselor to ask questions and seek support, its a mortal obligation to step in. And in that instance the teacher or the counselor has to weigh harm to the student if they share. Its about being compassionate humans, not interfering with parents.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          This is where my comment about what points are on what curve is salient.

          What, EXACTLY, have teachers done that is at issue?

          Are teachers trying to tactfully explain that there are kids in the class with parents of the same gender, and that’s a perfectly acceptable reality?

          Are teachers talking about sexual intercourse in detail?

          Are teachers trying to tell kids who are confused about their gender/orientation that they should feel safe discussing the topic with a teacher?

          Are teachers trying to convince kids that they are trans or gay just because they are confused?

          What are the data points we have, do they fit the metaphorical curve such that we actually can extrapolate to the trend Kristin suggests?

          And I really want to caution people about the numerous and significant caveats that are involved in curve fitting and extrapolation. It’s not something that people should be doing on a whim. You need a whole lot of quality data points before you can even hope to fit a curve and reasonably extrapolate from it.Report

          • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            On the one hand we have a lot of anecdata out in the Discourse. That anecdata is itself caught up in a fog of culture war and social media and negative partisanship. I’m against jumping to conclusions based on poorly sourced internet outrage.

            On the other hand I live in a jurisdiction currently being sued because it issued guidance seeming to allow for schools to withhold the fact that a student is socially transitioning from that student’s parents. It also arguably permits school personnel to be misleading about it (i.e. call the student by one set of name/pronouns during school and another set when interacting with parents, without acknowledging that’s happening). That’s real life, not a hypothetical, or extrapolation.Report

            • Philip H in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              So you don’t see a situation where that guidance would be beneficial to the student if implemented in the manner you describe?Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t believe a public school has the authority to make that call. If they believe a crime has occurred they should contact law enforcement.

                This is what I meant in my first comment, btw, operating under a presumption that parents are the enemy. That’s just not acceptable.Report

              • Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Roughly 34% of LGBT youth report suffering physical violence from their parents as a result of their sexual
                orientation and/or gender identity. (GLSEN)
                • Up to 46% of LGBT youth of color experience physical violence related to their sexual orientation.
                • 26% of LGBT youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts with family over sexual orientation and/or
                gender identity. (Lambda Legal)
                • 25-40% of the youth who become homeless each year are LGBT, and the number is likely much higher. (Lambda
                Legal)

                These are somewhat dated statistics, but if they are even close to true, they point to significant danger arising for students if the school defaults to always telling parents. Schools do have to make these calls, and frankly police organizations are probably even less well equipped to handle these sort of incidents.

                https://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/crb/training/Training%20Center/W11.YouthRiskFactorsHO.pdfReport

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                So parents are to be presumed guilty of crimes, or future crimes?

                And school districts like, say, Baltimore, where they can’t even teach the students to read are going to be presumed competent arbiters of what parents should and shouldn’t know about their childrens’ health?

                That is crazy.Report

              • cam in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m new here and not near Baltimore so haven’t seen or followed anything about this story, so forgive me if you’ve covered this elsewhere before, but it seems like there’s an obvious question that hasn’t been addressed:

                Did the student in question tell the teacher/school that they were afraid of what would happen to them if their parents found out?

                That seems to me like a very pertinent question here. Back in high school my son became a 1 person suicide hot line for a friend whose parents weren’t physically abusive but definitely the extreme opposite of supportive when they *suspected* he was not the ‘proper man’ they wanted their son to be.Report

              • InMD in reply to cam
                Ignored
                says:

                The lawsuit is to prevent the guidance from going into place (it has been issued but is not yet effective). The suit itself is in a neighboring jurisdiction but the (IMO reasonable) assumption is that if it is allowed to stand there it will be implemented in many others in the state. Some are already following something similar.Report

              • cam in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                So to be clear, the lawsuit is to prevent schools from telling teachers not to out students to their parents?

                Is there at least a proposal for the guidance to be amended to allow the student to have a say or allow teachers to not out the student if they are afraid of how their parents will react (not just for physical abuse requiring police involvement – based on my son’s friend you can see, I hope, why I might think there should be safety valve for the student here).Report

              • InMD in reply to cam
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a bit more technical than that. The lawsuit is to prevent the guidance that would (theoretically) allow school personnel to withhold the fact that a student is socially transitioning from parents, including records to that effect (there is also a FERPA component). Right now my understanding is that the school system is defending the guidance on the merits.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Beneficial? Sure, but schools have to be very careful about that whole “In Loco Parentis” thing. The school should default to discussing such things with parents unless the student is very adamant that exposing such things to people at home will result in actual harm (e.g. I am afraid I will be kicked out; I am afraid I will be beaten; etc.).Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              As I asked Jaybird, of all the possible ways in which people could respond to that particular case, why should you, or any of us, support the approach which involves rank bigotry?

              There is no “On the other hand” when it comes to choosing bigotry.
              There is a set of appropriate ways to respond to behavior by school officials, and then there is bigotry which is way, way outside that set.

              Not the other hand. Bigotry is never, ever, the acceptable “other hand choice” that we need to make.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              But even a single district being sued is but a single data point. You can’t define a trend, much less extrapolate from that. I mean, this is the problem we always have at the intersection of policy and culture war. Politicians and lobbyists play fast and loose with the data.Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                All fair as far as it goes. Maybe that situation is an outlier, maybe it isn’t. But I’m still rooting for the parents to win the lawsuit. And I know who I’m rooting for in similar lawsuits I’m aware of in the region.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Should a teacher be required to out an eighth grader to his parents if he sees that eighth grader holding hands with another boy as they walk to school?

                Because the answer to that one seems to be a pretty obvious no, the place where we draw the line between that and the behavior you describe may exist, but is not at all obvious to me personally, and I’m not sure there’s a way around this that avoids relying on the discretion of teachers and/or administrators without treating the two cases identically.Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I don’t expect an affirmative duty to report that, assuming there is no general rule against students holding hands. But I really don’t think that’s apples to apples. I also wouldn’t expect a teacher to lie about it if asked.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think they are the same.

                But I think what’s triggered this is a lot of the next crop of anti-LGBT legislation (and I believe the FL law if I read it right ) give the teacher an affirmative duty to report to the parents if a student comes out to them.

                Lying to parents is not appropriate. Encouraging kids to talk to their parents is appropriate.

                Short-circuiting and jumping right to telling the parents doesn’t sit right with me. Not so much because the parent is an enemy, but because, while I obviously don’t fully trust the judgement of minors, I think I trust it more than state legislators and governors who have no specific knowledge of the situationReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                CanI sue a teacher who shows a video of a well known cable show host talking about testicle tanning?

                Because I know who I’d be rooting for in that lawsuit.

                Don’t get me wrong, I admire a firm set of well tanned testicles and I’ve been known to assume the position and let the good Lord beam His golden rays on my sack, (as one does), but still, talking about that when children hear it seems, icky somehow.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                My friend, I’m afraid you’ve completely lost me.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                He’s yelling “WHATABOUT TUCKER CARLSON?”

                Well?

                Answer the question.

                Heck, talk about Trump for that matter. He was orange too.

                What about Canada’s Brian Mulroney!

                Q.E.D.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m noting how homophobia springs from a deep and familiar well of unhealthy attitudes towards sexuality in general.

                That is, if we’re were to genuinely want our children to grow up with happy and healthy sex and gender identities we would restrict viewing of Tucker Carlson to consenting adults, and only in the privacy of their own homes.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                But what about sexuality in Israel versus Palestine?

                The incursion of the so-called “settlements” into the Palestinian territories is practically a Freudian gay-panic nightmare.Report

  3. Greg In Ak
    Ignored
    says:

    Don’t have much time to dive into this. One big thing teachers and school personal are trained in is identifying and reporting abuse of kids. Of course in some situations they will talk to kids about sex if there is an indication they are being abused. Often kids report it to their teachers. Also very importantly most abuse happens FROM family members. If I ever had a parent tell a kid never talk about their home to a teacher that would be at least a yellow flag if not a red one.

    If a kid opens up to a teacher that they are gay and are terrified to come out at home then I am glad the kid has someone to talk to.

    Neither teachers or parents are bad in general but some specific ones are. In fact most teachers are parents.Report

  4. pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    Opponents may be calling this controversial Florida law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but it is because those opponents are trying to mislead and obfuscate and LIE about what is really happening.

    This would be a more persuasive argument if it weren’t an accurate description of one of the things the bill does, which is prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. Why do people think it does that?

    Well, there are many reasons, but one underappreciated one is that’s what the bill’s authors say it does, in the bill itself:

    An act relating to parental rights in education; amending s. 1001.42, F.S.; requiring district school boards to adopt procedures that comport with certain provisions of law for notifying a student’s parent of specified information; […] providing construction; prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner;

    Emphasis mine.

    You talk a lot about connecting the dots in your piece, but it’s hard not to connect dots like this one, where we get accused of being liars, and, yes, “groomers”, for simply believing that the bill will do exactly what the people who wrote it says it will do.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      oh look
      it’s a liberal doing exactly the thing a conservative criticized them for doing, and thinking that doing the thing on purpose is somehow refuting the criticism

      like when Kristin suggests that an increasingly-common form of intellectually-dishonest attack is to focus on certain parts of a situation instead of the entire context

      and then here you come emphasizing only part of a sentence and thinking that’s a king-hell 100%-unblockable destructo-attackReport

      • pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        it’s a liberal doing exactly the thing a conservative criticized them for doing, and thinking that doing the thing on purpose is somehow refuting the criticism

        It’s not a liberal thing, it’s an OT comment section thing that comes from the fact that we’re responding via comments and not multi-thousand-word structured essays.

        and then here you come emphasizing only part of a sentence and thinking that’s a king-hell 100%-unblockable destructo-attack

        It is, in fact, a direct refutation to the accusation that we’re lying about what the bill does, because the bill says it does exactly the same thing we do.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          “it’s an OT comment section thing…”

          Kristin: “liberals tend to highlight a single element of a situation and construct an argument that is not only against the spirit of the context but often directly rebutted by that context.”

          pillsy: “In response I shall present a sentence, highlight an excerpt, and construct an argument based on that excerpt, despite the fact that literally the next part of the sentence refutes my argument. Somehow I think this makes me look good.”

          Like…go back and read the entire sentence that you bolded only part of.Report

          • pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            I have read the entire sentence.

            It doesn’t make the original claim that it’s a lie to call it the “Don’t Say Gay” true!

            At all!

            And just to be clear, the activists and officials who pushed that piece of shit over the finish line were very, very intent on keeping that aspect of the bill in place.Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              read the whole sentence, dude

              read the whole sentence

              no seriously

              read the whole sentence

              like, the part about “in certain grade levels or in a specified manner”, that’s a very important part that you didn’t highlightReport

              • pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                No it isn’t.

                Because it means that mentioning gay people in front of third graders is still verboten, effectively forcing teachers into the closet and barring children of LGBT parents from mentioning their families.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Good! We’ve finally gotten you to move away from “one of the things the bill does…is prohibiting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity”, full stop, no qualifiers.

                Which means you’ve accepted that there was context to the situation that you removed so that you could justify your badbellyfeels.

                Which is what Kristin was writing about in the first place.

                And we’re done. Thank you for your cooperation.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                (golf clap)

                I forgot you set that rusty old bear trap, but eventually he stepped on it. Well done, sir.Report

    • Pinky in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      Your quote comes from the portion of the text that describes the bill. The corresponding portion in the enacting clauses is:

      3. Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

      There’s nothing in that that bans the use of the word “gay” or even bans discussion of sexual orientation.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        So the bill is lying about itself?

        OK then.

        Maybe the problem isn’t just what liberals are saying about it.Report

        • Pinky in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          A bill’s introduction always uses different phrasing than its enacting clauses. If you want to know what a bill does, skip the first run-on sentence that begins “A bill to…” and start at “Be it enacted”.Report

          • Patrick in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            “The authors of the bill were lying about the wording of the bill in the language they used to sell the bill to their voters” doesn’t say anything nice about either the bill’s authors or the people they’re selling it to.

            And the folks who are targeted by that language maybe have a point in being upset about that.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Patrick
              Ignored
              says:

              Every bill I’ve ever seen uses different wording in the introduction and the enacting clauses. Every one. Some of them begin with an elaborate title for the legislation, others will have a bunch of “whereas” statements. It’s also true that most bills have some “as per state standards” or “in compliance with federal regulatory agencies” kind of thing. That’s the other criticism I keep seeing, that it’s worded ambiguously. But this bill is par for the course.Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t think that “prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner” is a misrepresentation of the clause Pinky quoted. It’s less precise, but unlike a lot of the claims that I’ve seen about it from teachers and the media, it’s not inaccurate.Report

  5. John Puccio
    Ignored
    says:

    The American Left has adopted denialism as a go-to response to criticism of their policies and beliefs. From crime and defund the police to CRT, to transgender athletic performance, to the southern border, etc. To disagree with the progressive activist wing is to be labeled a fill-in-the-blank ad hominem.

    It’s a losing strategy but they continue to double down on it.Report

  6. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    There is a story in politics, commonly attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson, about how LBJ wanted to circulate a rumor attacking his opponent in a Texas election. Johnson, it’s said, wanted to spread the story that his opponent liked to have sex with barnyard animals. One of LBJ’s aides said, “We can’t prove he’s a pig f—-r.”

    “I know that,” replied Johnson. “I just want to hear him deny it.”

    Well, the denials have been coming quick and fast.

    On top of that, there have been the occasional pieces of bad DEI that made it into the curriculum here or there and they get publicized and blown either out of proportion or into the correct proportion. And then goats are scaped, fingers pointed, and even the occasional apology made.

    But, it should be pointed out, these outliers should not be seen as representative of the whole.

    And then the denial is made again.Report

    • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Speaking of outliers, would you describe the Governor and AG of Texas as “outliers”?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        I see them as a backlash to outliers, myself.

        Completely unfair what they’re doing. The excesses, what excesses there are, are certainly not deserving of anything like what Texas is doing.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I thought we demolished the backlash stuff.

          The Republicans could respond to an excess with any sort of response, but choose bigotry.

          Their bigotry has no reason for existence other than they like it.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            I thought we demolished the backlash stuff.

            Yeah, you did a helluva job. Smooth sailing from here, I’m sure you said.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              The response was politically ineffective in the VA Governor’s race, but that does not, imply that it was false.

              I’m not saying that there’s no reason to discuss the political angle here; I am saying that it’s very important to be clear about which you’re talking about, lest we go around in a spiral of confusion for the umpteenth time.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m talking about demolishing the logic.
                The logic of the backlash argument makes no sense and should be abandoned.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I am talking, primarily, about the political angle.

                Goodness knows, if we want to discuss morality, we’re going to have to hammer down our priors first.

                When it comes to politics, you just have to ask something like “will this result in losing elections?” and deal with the whole “there is no evidence that this loses elections!” conversation.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And again, the “cynical politics ” argument fails, because it admits that bigotry is the driving motivation, but this time, choosing to accommodate it.

                Every one of these arguments eventually arrives at “Yeah, we are choosing to be bigoted or choosing to accommodate bigotry”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yeah, we are choosing to be bigoted or choosing to accommodate bigotry”

                Do you yet understand why the “groomer” thing seems to be working?

                You’ll have to stop holding your priors so tightly for a few moments to do so, of course. Assume that other priors exist. Assume that there are other perspectives and then put yourself in a headspace where you attempt to look at things from this assumed other perspective.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, I understand why hysterical accusations of child abuse work. I lived through the 80s Satanic Panic, after all.

                Bigotry works.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, when parents are going to have to choose between the bigots or the groomers, do you have a good guess as to which they’ll pick?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Once again, you’re telling us that the people supporting these bills are bigots.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Bigoted against Groomers!”

                There you go. That’s how that will play out.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, it will play out a lot like “Bigoted against Devil worshipping child molesters.”

                When you’re argument is “Behold the power of our fully armed and operational bigotry” you might want to pause a moment to reflect.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                On what? Human nature?

                Yeah. Dang. It really makes you think.

                Anyway, best of luck with the whole “people who believe in family primacy over social primacy are bigots” thing.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem with the “bigotry is awesome powerful” argument is that bigotry really only works when it’s on the down low.

                Like, in almost any society, the number of people who proudly stand up and say “hell yeah I think those people are inferior!” is very small.

                So bigotry relies on camouflage and stealth, of telling lies about canals of rootless cosmopolitan and perverted teachers.

                When bigotry is exposed and open it loses power.

                Who wants to be part of a group that says “We hate gay people?”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think that “you shouldn’t talk about this sort of thing with five year olds” means “we hate gay people”.

                And I think that trying to spin it as such will fail.

                And will result in further lack of trust.
                And that further lack of trust will result in further lack of collaboration.

                And, once again, you’ll be saying “but I thought we destroyed those arguments?”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Except when, of all the possible options for how to respond to that, they choose bigotry.

                Then stand back and brag of how effective bigotry is.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that, in the same way that non-grooming behaviors are being miscategorized as grooming, non-bigoted behaviors are being miscategorized as bigoted.

                WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THAT BIGOTRY DOESN’T EXIST!

                But given that there does seem to be the occasional grooming out there, there’s a tightrope being walked.

                People are going to have to pull the old “BUT MOST OF THE GROOMING IS HETEROSEXUAL!” as an argument against the so-called “anti-grooming laws” rather than “grooming doesn’t exist”.

                It’s a tightrope, that’s for sure.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think that “you shouldn’t talk about this sort of thing with five year olds” means “we hate gay people”.

                Oh, I don’t think it means that they necessarily hate gay people.

                But it does mean that they think that gay people are weird and kind of gross and should conceal aspects of their identities and lives around five year-olds that are entirely uncontroversial when straight people mention them.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Yep, this.

                Very few people actually hate Jews or black people, but plenty will passively accept others who do because of a vague discomfort and sense of Otherness.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                If that’s true, then I’d say that that is something that ought to be overcome before the “we have the right to raise your children like this” argument takes place.

                Lest there be accusations of grooming.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Why?

                Why must we “overcome” bigots, instead of “overpower” them?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Because your definition of “bigotry” is expansive enough to include a majority of people.

                In a democracy, that creates logistical problems.

                Especially if you have people arguing “we’re not *NORMALIZING* anything. Nobody is arguing that we should talk to kindergartners about the gender unicorn. We have a rule that says that if Billy has two dads, that’s just as valid as Sammy’s mom and dad and that’s just as valid as Wally’s divorced parents” right next to people arguing “I think that teachers should be talking to kindergärtners about the gender unicorn”.

                And if the gender unicorn comes up as an issue before the election, you may find yourself in a place where one of the candidates says “parents shouldn’t have a say in telling teachers whether they can talk about the gender unicorn”.

                And, suddenly, you’re finding yourself asking “But I thought we demolished that?”Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Because your definition of “bigotry” is expansive enough to include a majority of people.

                This is not remotely obvious.

                Indeed, if it were obvious, DeSantis et al wouldn’t constantly be trying to hide the ball when it comes to whether it’s OK for kids to be taught that some of their classmates have two mommies or two daddies.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I suppose that this is one of those things that will only become apparent on November 9th.

                Then we can have the argument about what this election was *REALLY* about and how you shouldn’t conclude that it was about X when, really, the outcome was a foregone conclusion and it had nothing to do with X.

                Hey, we should have one of our “election prediction” threads soon…Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The evidence is clear, right here at OT.

                When the argument is
                1) “Well, gosh, maybe there is some inappropriate behavior going on and this bill is merely a gentle pushback against that”
                the support is at one level, but when its
                2)”Yes, we think gays are icky and inferior” the level of support is different.

                Exhibit A is all the furious protests that its 1 instead of 2.

                Because 2) is really, really unpopular right now.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If that’s true, then I’d say that that is something that ought to be overcome before the “we have the right to raise your children like this” argument takes place.

                Is there a limiting principle here?

                Because as stated, this means that you can be accused of “grooming” for teaching anything that may not want their kids learning in school.

                And like, that includes a lot of stuff that virtually everyone believes that they should learn in school.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Is there a limiting principle here?

                I think it’s somewhere between “the camel’s nose is okay” and “why am I outside the tent?”

                Because as stated, this means that you can be accused of “grooming” for teaching anything that may not want their kids learning in school.

                Good point. I think that we could come to a weird compromise by saying “The Parent/Teacher relationship is an essential one for the Child/Student and we want the relationship to be healthy and communicative” rather than the shit that McAuliffe said.

                (Oh, and there needs to be a major push to get the bluehairs off of Tik Tok.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Contagion.”

                Mein Gott.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You do know that’s a common term, right? It’s basically the herd mentality that you see among the current anti-trans backlash, but I’m proposing that the current trans movement should be thought of as one.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Andrew, as this thread stands, it reads as if I committed some grave offense. I’m using the term the same way that Psychology Today used it as recently as 2020, but if you don’t accept it, then at least eliminate the comment and everything below it and permit me to post the same idea rephrased.

                At a minimum, if the thread is allowed to stand with Philip’s accusation of something the reader can’t see, I’m off the site.

                ETA: I hadn’t seen your change to my earlier comment. I was looking to defend myself against Philip’s criticism with a dictionary definition, not prolong a fight. Sorry if this is confusing as I’m editing my comments in real time.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                However you meant it, the term “social contagion” has enough ugly history in use toward people groups that it is not going to be used here.

                Citation very badly needed. “Social contagion” is not marked as derogatory in any dictionary I checked, and is the standard term for the phenomenon it describes. Searching for it now, I see that it used recently in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review, among others.

                What is this history?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Andrew, not my fault! Could you trim this back to get rid of the comment you edited?Report

  7. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The argument here, and the comments supporting it, openly admit that the concern is over political indoctrination, not sexual abuse.

    What are the political idea which are so objectionable?
    Ah, they are striving very hard, so very hard, to avoid saying.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      What are the political idea which are so objectionable?

      That the society have primacy over the family.

      A lot of families have problems with that.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks for admitting it and saving us a hundred comments or so.

        This is in fact the conservative opinion that the parent is the unrivaled ruler of the of the home. Patria Potestas, it was called in Roman times.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          After Terry McAuliffe destroyed Glenn Youngkin, this was supposed to have been settled.

          Report

        • dhex in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          one certainly doesn’t have to be a roman patrician or a conservative in the slightest to think that their choices as a parent should supercede what the state wants in almost all cases.

          for example: that texas law and trans kids + families.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to dhex
            Ignored
            says:

            “Almost”is doing quite a bit of work there don’t you think?

            But even then, “almost” means that which choices parents are allowed to make, is negotiable and therefore must be justified individually.Report

            • dhex in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              your position that the generally-accepted notion of parental supremacy in the supervision of their childrens’ welfare is somehow resurrection of paterfamilias does a lot more lifting, frankly. i am sure – in that i would bet a lot of money – that you would object to that texas law because of many reasons (as do i), and certainly not liken those parents of trans kids healthcare choices to ancient roman standards of societal organization and power. (just as i’m sure others elsewhere in this thread would do *exactly* that)

              so in the interest of focusing on principles (because potter stewart don’t really cut it on a large scale), my stance is “in the absence of imminent or ongoing physical harm, the state should not intercede in the private decisions of parents”. i see this as allowing for decisions by parents that i personally feel are bad – certain religious environments, certain social environments, discipline practices, transmission of certain political beliefs, etc – but that i do not feel warrant the intervention of the state, especially in light of the state’s treatments of minorities and minority views in a variety of contexts, both historical and recent.

              this certainly doesn’t mean that all of the outcomes of every family in america are great, good, or even mildly positive – many are not going to be – but it protects familial self-determination for cultural and religious practices, political and social views, healthcare practices outside of the norm, etc.

              every law requires force to enact at some point in the chain; the invocation of force against others should be very, very, very, carefully considered.

              (i realize this is also the point where many conservatives would jump in about medical harm and trans kids, etc, and my surface-level rejoinder to that is that if i’m unwilling to impose the state on widespread and deeply parochial religious communities which treat children as chattel based on their gender, then individual families can hardly rate notice, especially in the context of healthcare provider + patient relationships, a layer missing from religious communities.)Report

          • Jaybird in reply to dhex
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s exactly how I’d do it, fwiw.

            “This is between parents and their children and the government shouldn’t think that the parents don’t have the best interests of their children at heart.”

            And, from there, get into the whole “offended” thing. “How dare you think that parents wouldn’t have their children’s best interests at heart?!?!?”Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Ideally, the state should assume that the parents have the best interests of the child at heart unless the state can prove otherwise. This is less because parents are superior and more because the state, quite frankly, does not have sufficient resources to be policing or supplanting the judgement of parents over every little thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, there are abusive parents out there, no doubt. And if the parents are abusing their children, the state ought to step in.

                (And I’d not only say “the state doesn’t have sufficient resources” but “I’m not certain the state has the best judgment”. I’d only want the state intervening for particularly egregious examples of abuse. There are already a host of stories about how CPS discriminates against POCs. Widening the amount of discretion CPS has will have disparate impact.)Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                jaybird you have to understand that those were mistakes that were corrected and how dare you make “the existence of mistakes” a cause for criticism and anyway if they weren’t corrected then probably they weren’t mistakes and how dare you suggest that they were?Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          I think it goes far beyond being the conservative opinion.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      The concern is not political indoctrination of students.

      The concern is that psychological preparation of public school students is being done, without parental consent, that is meant or can lead to the eventual chemical or physical mutilation of their sex organs. This occurring in school environments where more common forms of staff sexual assault against students are also a frequent reality. Some view such an outcome as sexual abuse. And the issue is psychological preparation for that abuse.

      I agree and agreed when I previously commented on this that this is a faulty application of the term “grooming.” However, I don’t believe it is a crazy, surpassingly outrageous, or beyond-the-pale viewpoint on the matter.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        The concern is that psychological preparation of public school students is being done, without parental consent, that is meant or can lead to the eventual chemical or physical mutilation of their sex organs.

        That’s never ben what happened though. Saying that trans people are human, and deserving of love, respect and equal place in society is not driving or grooming any child to do anything other be, oh I don’t know, good Christians who love their neighbors as themselves.

        Gender affirming surgery – which is still a statistical rarity for minors – is not “mutilating their sex organs.” Its a clinically supported physical treatment for gender dysphoria that occurs after years of counseling my professionals, institution of hormone therapy and presenting/living as the better aligned gender for at least a year. You defining it as mutilation is flaming transphobia.

        And it doesn’t happen to children without parental involvement & consent. Which is why Texas, as a matter of state policy, want parents, psychologists and doctors who are working as a team supporting transgendered children to be investigated for child abuse.

        This occurring in school environments where more common forms of staff sexual assault against students are also a frequent reality.

        And there are already laws on the books to address that. If those laws are not being stringently enforced, these new laws won’t actually change this situation.

        Some view such an outcome as sexual abuse. And the issue is psychological preparation for that abuse.

        Again, I can’t get to abuse by teaching someone that transgendered people are deserving of love, respect and dignity. Which is at most what students are “being prepared for.” The assumption that it is abuse, and that such discussion will always lead to “abuse” is the problem, not the existence or support of transgendered persons.Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I never suggested that any particular other people/parents do see it the way they see it.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew
            Ignored
            says:

            …But it’s not the case that all that is going on everywhere is that when the topic of transsexualism comes up, or a student comes to staff and says that they don’t feel that they fit in the gender that society has assigned to them for whatever reason, teachers simply make generalized social statements about trans people being deserving of love.

            We all know that.

            The surgery or treatments that has people alarmed wouldn’t have to take place while the student was minor for the preparation that takes place to reasonably be concerning to parents of certain viewpoints, so that fact that you inform us that sometimes it does only underscores that their reasons for concern (again, given their viewpoint which differs so widely from yours) have basis in reality.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Drew
              Ignored
              says:

              You’re just restating the argument, that teachers are tricking confused children into choosing to be trans.

              As I mention elsewhere, you can’t arrive at this argument via evidence and cold logic because it has none.

              You can only get there via hunches and intuition and preconceived notions of what you want to be true.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You said that argument amounted to concern about political indoctrination, but as you state it there it has nothing to do with political indoctrination. Yes, parents are *also* concerned about political indoctrination in schools, but that’s not their concern here. Here it is about fear that social-emotional interventions are being done without parents’ consent into individual students’ lives meant to change the trajectory of their identity formation in ways extremely foreign to those parents worldviews and beliefs about socialization and human nature.

                I didn’t give evidence to justify the concern because I’m not making the argument that they’re right. I’m clarifying the nature of the concern at issue here against your mischaracterization of it.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                Pardon me for asking, but I think I recognize this name as another former regular. That makes at least half a dozen in the past week, maybe 10 in the past 3 weeks. Is something going on?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                An election is brewin’.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, but not today. I already noted Murali, Slade, Brandon, pillsy, and Greg in AK yesterday, now Michael Drew and PD Shaw, and I just noticed Kolohe. And I’m terrible with names and not consciously tracking them, so there are probably more. This is like the second season of Picard around here, no new faces and dozens of classics. It’s just weird. You’ve got a comment from Turgid Jacobian followed by one from Doctor Jay. You wouldn’t see that and think 2022 OT.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                “Here it is about fear that social-emotional interventions are being done without parents’ consent into individual students’ lives meant to change the trajectory of their identity formation in ways extremely foreign to those parents worldviews and beliefs about socialization and human nature.”

                I have to ask… are there any examples of this actually happening?

                I had no idea this was even being discussed as a concern because I have never heard of any such thing happening.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I have to ask… are there any examples of this actually happening?

                Do you want us to go through the LibsOfTikTok account and find examples?

                Because I see that as turning into stuff like “that was a *PRIVATE* school! Not public!” or “She wasn’t a *TEACHER*! She was a teaching *ASSISTANT*!”

                Or, I suppose, “I wanted *REAL* examples. Not examples from a hatemonger.”Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                My response would be to ask, what was done by school leadership in response? A video of a person behaving badly isn’t indicative of a socio-political problem, unless either

                A) the bad behavior is tolerated or accepted by leadership (see police behaving badly).

                B) the behavior is so commonplace that even though leadership doesn’t approve, they are powerless to curb it (again, see police).

                So, what happened to the people in those videos?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d say that what happened to the people in those videos is that their behavior was argued to not be representative, after the initial argument was over whether the behavior existed at all.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                This dodges Oscar’s question by bringing it back effectively to the political course, when the question is about the necessity of the political discourse in the first place, which is sort of how all of these discussions about examples go. At this point, honestly, just better not to have them.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the straightforward answer is “The person in question got fired.”

                Then the topic switches to “the system worked!”

                But the original question was “are there even any examples of this egregious behavior out there?”Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I would contend then that people should take care to restate their demand to, “Are there any examples out there that were not adequately addressed by the systems in place, such that additional legislation is actually required?”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Now *THAT* is a good question.

                And it does a good job of acknowledging that, yes, egregious examples exist BUT THEY ARE TAKEN CARE OF.

                The question itself meets the tentative opposition halfway.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Actually, there are thousands of examples of children being groomed and abused in parochial schools, with the perpetrators walking away free.
                There are hundreds of thousands of cases of children being groomed and abused by family members with justice never being served.

                If we’re looking for examples.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, but the law at issue looks at public schools, so…Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, the original question was “are there any examples,” but the more important question is, “do we even need to be having this conversation?” which is effectively what Oscar is asking, and if the system is working like it’s supposed to, then you’ve answered that question, and we should look at the political discourse very differently. That is, we should look at it as at best pointless, and at worst quite dangerous, and your insistence on playing devil’s advocate or owning the libs or whatever you’re doing only feeds into whichever type of dysfunction (pointless or dangerous, or somewhere in between) it is.Report

              • Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                “Sure, but it’s the libs asking if there are any examples, and dismissing the examples as not representative.” a) Once you’ve shown that the system works, you’ve shown that they’re not representative, and b.) by asking the question in a way that doesn’t get to the heart of what Oscar’s asking, then the libs are also reinforcing that dysfunction. Now the question is, since we know the system is working like it’s supposed to, why on earth should we continue to let ourselves and others reinforce the dysfunction? If your answer is, because of the examples, which is effectively what it’s been the whole time, then it’s hard not to conclude that the dysfunction is precisely what you want to reinforce.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                That is, we should look at it as at best pointless, and at worst quite dangerous, and your insistence on playing devil’s advocate or owning the libs or whatever you’re doing only feeds into whichever type of dysfunction (pointless or dangerous, or somewhere in between) it is.

                This conversation *IS* going to happen. It is going to happen whether you like it or not and the arguments that we need to not have it are not persuasive.

                Your moral authority is not legible.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, you’ve pushed it off on me: if you acknowledge that there is no actual issue (the system is functioning as it should), then you have a moral obligation not to further a conversation that we know to be harmful. If you continue to do so, you’ve shown that you don’t care that you’re harming people to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. And honestly, your behavior here, as again devil’s advocate or owning the libs or trying to show the libs the conservative side, or whatever, shows that you don’t care.

                Since I know you’re a super smart guy, and I know you recognize this for what it is, don’t you think you could have the conversation in such a way that you’re saying, “This is what conservatives are thinking; this is why. We’re going to need to address this if we want to prevent the harm they’re causing.” Or you could do what you’re doing, which is make everyone have the conversation at a level that doesn’t even address the whether there’s even a there there, as you have at least tacitly noted now, and get hundreds of comments that don’t in any way get to how we should be addressing conservatives and limiting or eliminating the harm this discourse is causing.

                I acknowledge my moral authority is not legible, but at least I don’t shirk my moral obligations in the name of whatever the hell you’re doing here. Just having fun? I can’t tell. It’s gross, though, as gross as the OP, because it accomplishes the same thing: furthering a harmful discourse.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, you’ve pushed it off on me: if you acknowledge that there is no actual issue

                I see it as there being an actual issue, but the system is robust enough to deal with actual issues.

                And honestly, your behavior here, as again devil’s advocate or owning the libs or trying to show the libs the conservative side, or whatever, shows that you don’t care.

                I see it as similar to the “Defund” thing.

                I see the Defunders as caring more about how they view themselves than about actually reforming the police.

                And that resulted in Biden talking about Funding the police in the State of the Union.

                I’m hoping to avoid Biden talking about the importance of protecting our children from the excesses of bad DEI in next year’s State of the Union.

                Or you could do what you’re doing, which is make everyone have the conversation at a level that doesn’t even address the whether there’s even a there there, as you have at least tacitly noted now, and get hundreds of comments that don’t in any way get to how we should be addressing conservatives and limiting or eliminating the harm this discourse is causing.

                Because attempts to address whether “there” exists turns into a discussion of how relevant it is that “there” resulted in the system addressing the “there”.

                Which is why I liked Oscar’s question and think that it’s the way forward.

                I think that attacking the people who are saying “JEEZ LOUISE HIT THE GODDAMN BRAKES!” will not work and will fail just as spectacularly as Police Reform did.

                (But personal assessments of one’s own moral stature will probably survive yet another major freakin’ loss.)Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But the defund thing is a great example: you play games. You say, “The discourse is saying X?” I say, “OK, give me an example.” We go back and forth about what sorts of examples we should be looking at, etc., then you give an example, and it’s not of “X,” and in fact, it’s not even a supporter of defund, it’s one of the most famous abolitionists, saying something that has nothing to do with the discourse you were asked to provide examples of. Then we get further bogged down in a discourse about examples. Meanwhile, other people are chiming in, making good points, furthering the discussion, and we’re talking about talking about talking about examples.

                Here, Oscar has done you a great service, by asking the right question. And your answer, instead of addressing the question, went back to talking about talking about the examples.

                Like, do you not watch as the discourse even on this page passes you by, while you play around with a few libs who get caught up in your little games? Does it not sometimes make you pause and think, “Eh, I could be having a real discussion about this, one that at the very least furthers the issue here, in this small place,” or do you just log off, play some video games, and think, “Heh, totally owned that OT liberal today?” ‘Cause I can’t think of any other point to what you’re doing, and because this is an issue where people are legitimately harmed, I can’t see that as anything but moral abhorrent.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                My answer to his question is “I can’t find any of those examples. Every single example I found is of something that was addressed by our system.”

                Which is what makes it a great question and a great framing.

                A hell of a lot better than “Is this even happening?”

                one that at the very least furthers the issue here

                The issue is, seems to me, that there is a cliff that folks seem inclined to drive over.

                I want them to not drive over it.

                And if this debate goes the way the Defund debate goes, it’ll happen again.

                And you’ll blame me and people like me for noticing rather than admit that, okay, yeah. “Defund” was a bad thing to rally around. BUT SERIOUSLY WE SHOULD STILL DO IT.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Here, Oscar has done you a great service, by asking the right question.

                Well, thank you. Although, given my libertarian leanings, it’s the question I ask of damn near every law that works it’s way through a legislature, given that far too many of them are politicians signaling to their base, rather than an actual solution to a problem.Report

              • Chris in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a good question, even for non-libertarians. It’s a particularly good question when we’re talking about laws that we know will cause very real harm to people. It’s a still better question when we’re talking about a low that has both arisen out of, and is furthering, rhetoric in which political opponents are referred to as groomers.Report

              • Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Put differently: there’s a productive dialogue to be had here, and I can’t imagine you spend as much time on this site as you do if you don’t think that the people here are capable of having that dialogue, so why not have it? Why have this one, where you find examples (or talk about their existence), and then have meta conversations about how the libs say there are no examples or how they question your examples? That’s not productive. That’s either laying cover for the bad behavior or conservatives or just fishing around, and either way the effect is the same.

                Sure, this is just a blog, and the dialogue here doesn’t have an impact on the dialogue elsewhere, but seriously man, this is a very serious topic, with very serious real world implications, being used cynically for political gain, and you want to talk about how the libs are talking about the examples? Just gross. Just absolutely disgusting. The whole thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                so why not have it?

                BECAUSE WE’RE STILL AT “IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING?!@?!?”!

                And then examples of it even happening becomes “but that person got fired, that other person was retrained”.

                It’s yet another moving of the goalposts.

                Which is why I like Oscar’s question:

                “Are there any examples out there that were not adequately addressed by the systems in place, such that additional legislation is actually required?”

                And you know what? This meets the weak opposition halfway.

                It says “yes, sometimes stuff happens but we handle it!” rather than “this isn’t happening!”Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No, we’re not at “Is this even happening?” We’re at, “Is this even happening in a way that is not already addressed by existing rules, laws, and institutions?” You want to play is this even happening,” because it lets you continue to play your game, which, again, furthers a genuinely harmful discourse.

                Every time someone asks, “Is this even happening,” you could just say, “yes, see these examples on Libs of Tik Tok, but each one was handled by the existing system as they should be,” but you’re not doing that, you’re just doing your thing, but in a way, and on a topic, that is genuinely harmful. I cannot stress this enough: it’s bad. You’re furthering a bad dialogue. You’re not even talking about the only things that matter (not are there examples, but are there examples that justify new rules/laws, and then possibly, are the currently proposed laws doing/going to do what they need to do what they’re supposed to do?). I just don’t get it. I think you’re better than this. I definitely know you’re better than this off the site.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Here, let me copy and paste the question that kicked off this mini-thread:

                I have to ask… are there any examples of this actually happening?

                There you go.
                There it is.

                Which is why I like Oscar’s question. I think that Oscar’s question is a good one.

                It gets to the nut.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yup, I acknowledge that. Have done so repeatedly just now. Now, we could interpret Kazzy’s question more charitably as, “Are there examples of this happening that aren’t handled by the system the way they should be?” Or we could get into discussions about examples and about sources of examples and so on and so forth. I think those discussions give cover to the legitimacy of the issue as a political one, as I’ve said, and while I think the people who engage in that discussion with you are also furthering the dysfunction, you’re pretty much the only one who keeps them going, and you know it, because you do it on pretty much every one of these threads, on every topic. Most of the time, it’s just an annoying conversation to have or read through. Here, it’s very bad to have it.

                Anyway, enough of a public calling out. As much as i genuinely hate to do it, I’m gonna hit the x, because I honestly don’t want to watch it. It’s just so disappointing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I am not sure that arguing that we should answer the question that would have been better than the question that was actually asked will scale.

                But, heck. Maybe it will.

                That’s an old politicians trick.
                “Governor Scruffy, is it true that your office is being investigated?”
                “Okay, you’re asking me if my office is scrupulous. I tell you that it is. I have an amazing office and we have the best scruples.”

                Anyway, enough of a public calling out. As much as i genuinely hate to do it, I’m gonna hit the x, because I honestly don’t want to watch it. It’s just so disappointing.

                More disappointing than Biden talking about Funding the police in the State of the Union?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                We need this law, if it helps even one child.

                Isn’t that how it goes?Report

              • Chris in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE SINGLE CHILD?!Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                “Sex and the Single Child”Report

              • Philip H in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                Here it is about fear that social-emotional interventions are being done without parents’ consent into individual students’ lives meant to change the trajectory of their identity formation in ways extremely foreign to those parents worldviews and beliefs about socialization and human nature.

                I didn’t give evidence to justify the concern because I’m not making the argument that they’re right. I’m clarifying the nature of the concern at issue here against your mischaracterization of it.

                And those fears are being politicized by state legislators and governors in what we see as badly overbroad laws which do not appear to be factually based. Which is why we keep asking for examples and citations. That none are produced, even by people simply claiming to clarify arguments is very telling.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Drew
                Ignored
                says:

                How should a liberal tolerant society react to parents’ fears of “social-emotional interventions are being done without parents’ consent into individual students’ lives meant to change the trajectory of their identity formation in ways extremely foreign to those parents worldviews and beliefs about socialization and human nature.

                There is an implicit assumption that the parents’ fears are inviolable, that somehow they must be soothed and placated by society. That was my reference to patria potesta.

                As opposed to the idea that society has a legitimate interest in the welfare of a child, and that interest can sometimes override the parent’s interest. That’s why we have such things as Family Services.

                I think it should be obvious to everyone that any fears are legitimate only if they concern the parents’ own child.

                And for those that are, society needs to determine if society’s interest in the mental health and well-being of children is outweighed by the parent’s desire to control the development of their child.

                There are plenty of examples of cases where it is, and others where it isn’t.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Michael Drew
              Ignored
              says:

              so that fact that you inform us that sometimes it does only underscores that their reasons for concern (again, given their viewpoint which differs so widely from yours) have basis in reality.

              You are not reading what I and other are clearly writing. Teachers, in, of, and by themselves, are not doing anything that we can find to “prepare” anyone for anything. At most they are unquestioningly accepting a student’s statements about who the student feels they are, and they are keeping things that student shares in confidence as confidential unless they have a duty to report. No one in this very long thread – including the OP – has provided a single shred of actual verifiable evidence of anything else occurring, much less anything that would rise to the use of the word “grooming” to prepare a child to be sexually molested.

              So yes, a very small minority of parents MAY be fearing this irrationally based on propaganda fed to them by scurrilous politicians who are only doing it to keep power. They aren’t arriving at that based on what’s happening in their distracts or anywhere else.Report

  8. Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m sure I’ll have more substantive comments in a bit, but my first thought is “Galileo couldn’t have known calculus”.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s so egregious I wonder if it was deliberate. Were commenters expected to focus on that mistake, so the post’s author could say “See, you’re doing it again!”Report

    • Chris in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      The actual quote is a classic, anyway (with a little context, and stressing the importance of reading “philosophy” as “natural philosophy,” i.e., science):

      In Sarsi I seem to discern the firm belief that in philosophizing one must support oneself upon the opinion of some celebrated author, as if our minds ought to remain completely sterile and barren unless wedded to the reasoning of some other person. Possibly he thinks that philosophy is a book of fiction by some writer, like the Iliad or Orlando Furioso, productions in which the least important thing is whether what is written there is true. Well, Sarsi, that is not how matters stand. Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth.

      This is of course a trivial complaint about the post, but it might be worth noting that the book from which the quote is taken barely mentions “God” at all, and the weird religious co-opting of an author greatly persecuted by religious authorities for precisely these views (though less because of his defense of natural philosophy than for his extension of these ideas into theology) is pretty consistent with the sort of, not dishonesty, but charitably, misperception that characterizes the rest of the piece.Report

  9. Turgid Jacobian
    Ignored
    says:

    “who are about the furthest thing from religious zealots or political extremists.”

    Take careful stock of those leading the charge in rearranging your dots, folks. You’ll find that the “are” in that sentence should be “were.”Report

  10. Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    I love having conversations with people about trans people. My daughter is a trans person and I love her. However, since I am not trans myself, I am less threatened by certain conversations, and that helps me have them.

    The “Don’t Say Gay” stuff being brought by politicians is not being brought in good faith. Absolutely not. It is transparently obvious that, for instance, Gov. Abbot’s demand for reporting of treatment of trans children as abuse is legally unsustainable, and an unconscionable interference with parents and medical staff who are doing the opposite of abuse.

    A 9 year old may not know much about sex, but they know plenty about gender ID. Trans children sometimes identify by age 6 or 7. They will need help before much damage is done.

    “Grooming” does not exist. Nothing you say to a child, or an adult, is going to change whether they are trans are not. Trans people never, never, ever change their mind, but they do suffer a lot when they can’t express their internal sense of ID.

    I would like you all to imagine living as the other gender – changing your dress, your voice, your mannerisms and perhaps using a prosthetic – 24/7 for a year. I think you’d get very, very tired of it. I think it would wear on you. This is what trans people go through.

    Furthermore, all of this was known to medical/psychological people at least 20 years ago, maybe 40. They have developed and refined treatment protocols (that ensure that only actually trans people get the more heavyweight medical interventions, for instance). And yet I see people with PhD.’s who really ought to know better cashing in on what looks like the latest new moral panic. Not to mention politicians.

    And so I resent that. A lot.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      It may be possible that I don’t know the full story, but one of my issues with laws like this, being promoted by conservatives, is that it’s a law looking for a problem to solve. Given how conservatives are the ones nominally opposed to creating laws willy nilly (you know, the whole opposition to “There ought to be a law.” or “It’s for the children!”), I would not expect them to support such laws before all other avenues had been so exhausted.

      So these parents who have concerns, I assume they talked to their teachers, and the school administrators, and the school board, and the state department of education, before writing their legislators, right? They exhausted the process, right?

      If not, then this is the GOP playing culture war games with laws.

      To Kristin’s larger point, parental concerns over indoctrination need to be very specific. This isn’t something that can be tackled in generalities, simply because school has always been about indoctrination in some fashion or another. There is no way to talk about history without indoctrinating students to one perspective or another. Talking about any human social topic is indoctrination of some kind.

      Hell, when I was in high school, my Biology teacher could not help but talk about his religious thoughts regarding evolution.

      So the problem is not indoctrination, per se. It’s indoctrination to a POV parents strongly disagree with. Which means we have to ask, are we dealing with far right/left activist teachers, or parents?

      To use Kristin’s calculus analogy, curves can be described by equations. Two curves can have very different equations that occasionally intersect at certain points, or even be coincident along some length or another, but they are still different curves.

      So are the points of concern on curve 1, or 2?Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m straight, always have been. Never gave any thought to anything else, and parts of me that don’t think, but have had far too much to do with my decisions and actions, don’t respond to alternatives. Nobody has ever tried to convince me to be anything else, one or two clumsy gropes or straightforward propositions excepted. I’ve also been around the block enough times to see that there would be no advantage to feigning anything else.
      I don’t pretend to understand the trans phenomenon, but it is perfectly clear to me that it isn’t something people can be talked into, and there is no conceivable worldly advantage to choosing that status if it does not express something genuine and serious. The rewards of scratching for medals in women’s sports, for example, just aren’t that great.
      News flash: The vast majority of us, including our kids, are and always will be straight examples of our birth gender. There is no constituency for changing that. There is no program for changing that. There is no program for “grooming” kids who are unsure where they stand into becoming sex toys for predators. There is a program and a constituency for seeing to it that people who grow up in a world where not everyone fits into that mold learn to navigate such a world without pestering them or freaking out about them. That freaks some folks out.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      There may be a difference between what is traditionally called “gender dysphoria” and what is currently called “identifying as transsexual”. But traditionally about 60-80% of children who have gender dyshporia outgrow that desire by adulthood.

      Assuming that transsexuality is inborn, there shouldn’t be an increase in the number of actual transsexuals. There may have been a lot of people who were born transsexual but never recognized it. But we’re seeing massive increases in the numbers in the younger generations. And often in clusters, particularly among groups of female friends around the age of puberty. There’s no reason to think that would happen unless we’re not talking about actual transsexuality, but peer pressure and confusion.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        This is a claim that demands a citation.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          I made three claims. I’ll try to do this without any links.

          First, that 60-80% of children who have gender dysphoria outgrow it. That’s from Wikpedia, “Gender Dysphoria in Children”.

          A 2020 Gallup poll numbered 329708 finds trans identification by generation as follows:
          Gen Z (born 1997 – 2002) 1.8%
          Millennials (born 1981-1996) 1.2%
          Gen X (born 1965-1980) 0.2%
          Boomers (born 1946-1964) 0.2%
          Traditionalists (born before 1946) 0.2%

          Third, the clusters of young females…eh, the easiest way to do this is with a link to this NYP opinion piece:
          https://nypost.com/2020/06/27/how-peer-contagion-plays-into-the-rise-of-teens-transitioning/

          I’m sure everything in it can be debated pro and con, but it’s an indication of the state of the debate.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Your statistics being accurate – and as far as I can tell they are – what’s the threat to children, much less familiar by acknowledging and affirming the existence of and care for between 0.2% and 1.8% of the population? Why is this tiny minority of people such a threat?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              I don’t consider them a threat at all, but I entertain the possibility that 1.6% of the population are (even accidental) victims, caught up in physical insecurities and perceived pressure.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                In my orbit right now there are 4 kids under 18 who are expanding their view of themselves away from strictly male/female. Each has courageously asked the people around them, including their parents, to help them understand who they are, including by using different pronouns then they were previously labeled with. In every case the parents and a good many grownups are trying to be supportive. Their same age peers have no issues. “They” used to be “she” or some such. And while two of them have engaged the services of psychologists, no one is talking about surgeries or hormones or anything else.

                Do you think this matches the” perceived pressure” part of your description?Report

              • JS in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, let me ask you again:

                You said “First, that 60-80% of children who have gender dysphoria outgrow it. That’s from Wikpedia, “Gender Dysphoria in Children”.”

                How come you didn’t quote the next lines?

                “The prospective studies have been criticized on the basis that they count as ‘desistance’ cases where the child met the criteria for gender identity disorder as defined in the DSM-III or DSM-IV, but would not have met the updated criteria for gender dysphoria in the DSM-5, established in 2013.[8] Prior to the DSM-III in 1980, there was no diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, so research on desistance rates published prior to 2000 might report inflated numbers of desistance, as gender-nonconforming children without gender dysphoria were included in the studies.[34] Bonifacio et al. state that “there is research to suggest” that some desistance of GD “may be caused, in part, by an internalizing pressure to conform rather than a natural progression to non–gender variance.”[35]

                If gender dysphoria persists during puberty, it is very likely permanent.[5][7] For those with persisting or remitting gender dysphoria, the period between 10 and 13 years is crucial with regard to long-term gender identity.[33] Factors that are associated with gender dysphoria persisting through puberty include intensity of gender dysphoria, amount of cross-gendered behavior, and verbal identification with the desired/experienced gender (i.e. stating that they are a different gender rather than wish to be a different gender).[32]”

                Wikipedia and opinion polls are an awful way to end your research, but most people would at least read all THREE paragraphs.Report

            • JS in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              Pinky is really showing why Wikipedia is an awful place to end your research.

              Or apparently even read past what you wanted to hear, as here’s the rest of the Wikipedia quote:

              “Prospective studies indicate that this is the case for 60 to 80% of those who have entered adolescence; puberty alleviates their gender dysphoria.[33]

              The prospective studies have been criticized on the basis that they count as ‘desistance’ cases where the child met the criteria for gender identity disorder as defined in the DSM-III or DSM-IV, but would not have met the updated criteria for gender dysphoria in the DSM-5, established in 2013.[8] Prior to the DSM-III in 1980, there was no diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, so research on desistance rates published prior to 2000 might report inflated numbers of desistance, as gender-nonconforming children without gender dysphoria were included in the studies”

              Weird he left that out.

              The 60 to 80% claim is generally sourced to a handful of studies — mostly Steensma 2011, easy to google, and an excellent example of the problem.

              It had multiple issues methodologically, but the simplest is that it mixed up definitions of dysphoria (conflating DMS 4 and 5 definitions and so it labeled everyone dysphoric — including kids who were simply fluid or nonconforming — and treated them all as if they had been officially diagnosed.

              Then, when doing the follow-up, anyone they couldn’t contact they labeled as having reverted to gender confirming. I assume we can all see the tiny methodological flaw there.

              In 2013, Steensma released a second study (Factors associated with desistence and persistence of childhood gender dysphoria: a quantitative follow-up study) addressing those issues — and adding a key factor (dysphoria intensity) got dramatically different results.

              It turns out that trans kids who met the clinical diagnosis for dysphoria (note: Required for blockers and later HRT in the United States, so kind of a key point), they tended to, you know, not change their mind. Multiple studies have shown that quite solidly.

              As usual, I am not surprised that someone vehemently anti-trans would cherry-pick a single line of a Wikipedia article, ignore the next line as inconvenient, and then quote a Gallup poll that could also be entitled “Left-handedness: A fancy new trendy thing that’s happened since we stopped beating them for being left-handed, What Has American Come To”Report

            • JS in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              His stats aren’t accurate, BTW, as noted below.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            We should also note that the vast majority of adolescents experiment with same sex attraction to some degree or another. And they do this at their own volition with no influence from adults.
            And it almost always results in no harm, nothing more than a deeper understanding of themselves.

            So if some adolescents experiment with gender fluidity then later change their mind, so what?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              You and I aren’t kids. We have no idea (then again, kids don’t understand this either) of what it’s like to go forward with something like this, have your teacher lead a cheer for you, and have this become part of your social media presence. This is the age when girls are self-harming (including with eating disorders) because they don’t feel right in their skin. If an adult can make those years easier, good. If an adult’s actions are making it worse, destabilizing a child’s self-identity, we should take that really seriously. There’s probably no more important thing for adults to take seriously.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                This is the age when girls are self-harming (including with eating disorders) because they don’t feel right in their skin.

                That’s been true for girls since probably time immemorial. Please provide statistics that a focus on gender identity has made rates worse.

                If an adult’s actions are making it worse, destabilizing a child’s self-identity, we should take that really seriously.

                You, Kristine, and others here seem to believe this is the only plausible outcome of adults doing what they are doing regarding gender and sexual identity in schools. Why is that?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s amazing is that everyone commenting here, literally every single one of us, was at one time an adolescent, who explored our own sexuality and gender identity.

                And we all did it without adult interference.

                I mean, for all the cis-het dudes here- why did you choose to wear pants instead of dresses?
                Why did you decide to prefer girls to boys?

                Was it some offhand comment from a teacher that caused your impressionable little mind to choose to be a boy?

                Did you read the wrong book or see a movie that groomed you to develop a liking for girls?

                If the answer is “haha, no I’ve always been this way” then why would you think its different for your kids, or my kids or any other kids anywhere?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I was a kid. I thought girls were gross, and I wanted to spend all my time around boys. I also thought I was adopted, and for a while a Venusian, and that I could tell what trees were thinking. Kids are confused and malleable. I’m sure I could have been tricked into at least a little gender confusion, and if that label became my self-identity it could have messed up my social interactions worse than the enormous glasses did.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Question for everyone here:
                What could someone have said to you that would have tricked you into thinking you were a different gender?

                Does this sound right to you, reflective of your own life experiences?Report

              • JS in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you expect anything different over this than sexual orientation?

                These are word for word the same “discussions” we had over gays 30 years ago.

                “Being gay is a choice! So that means you could choose to be gay? NO! I’m straight!”.

                This is gay panic from the 90s, with a slight change to labels — and even then, DeSantis sort of peeled that back some so you can see the old label.

                Same arguments, from the same bigots, with the same smear of “THINK OF THE CHILDREN! WAIT, NOT THE GAY ONES!” to claim anyone who disagrees with them is a pedophile.

                Homosexuality has to be a choice, because they dislike it, and want to punish people who do it. Being trans has to be a choice, because they dislike it and want to punish people who do it.

                They want it to go away. And they’ll do it over the body of those kids they’re swearing they want to protect, if that’s how it has to be.

                What’s a few dead trans kids he doesn’t even know when it comes to an America without those pesky things he doesn’t like?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                “Parents must have complete and unquestioned control over their children! NO NOT THE SUPPORTIVE PARENTS OF TRANS KIDS!”Report

              • JS in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It doesn’t matter. Even here, we’ve got bigots on the front page (there was that lovely article complaining about how hard it is to find a church that hates gays properly). we’ve got long-time commentators outright lying (“let me take this stat from Wikipedia as gospel, and not mention how the next two paragraphs talk about how bad that stat is), and the usual trolls “just asking questions”.

                And of course those questions are all “What did the naughty trans people do to make the bigots hate them so much”

                I think I’m about done with this place. The casual ivory tower bigotry from the usual suspects was bad enough — “Okay, forget about the real people this harms, can we talk about what they must have done to upset people? How maybe if they stopped being gay and trans they wouldn’t have this problem?” — I mean it was obnoxious enough when it was “What if, instead of gays getting married, we just stopped having the government do marriages”.

                But the open bigotry, the promoted bigotry is getting a bit much. I really should have ditched when I saw that “I can’t find an anti-gay enough church these days, woe is me” crap on the front page, bold as brass.

                Watching a bunch of conservatives repeat the bigotry of the 90s, with the same arguments and the same dire warnings of stuff that was transparently BS 40 years ago is….

                No. I think not.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                “I think I’m about done with this place. ”

                na-na-na-na, hey hey hey, gooooood-byeReport

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Everyone commenting here, literally every single one of us, was at one time an adolescent, who explored our own sexuality and gender identity.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If the answer is “haha, no I’ve always been this way” then why would you think its different for your kids, or my kids or any other kids anywhere?

                I have theories. SO do you. But they are not theories we can discuss in an age appropriate manner in Florida any more.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Trans-ID poll: Is that controlling for social acceptance* of identifying yourself as trans? I.E. Millennials and GenZ are much more accepting of the idea that a person might self-ID as trans, ergo people who are exploring that reality within themselves would feel more open to admitting it on a survey.

            *Remember that just because a survey is anonymous does not necessarily people automatically discard the effects of social pressure to conform.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              I’ll grant that that could explain some of it. We don’t have a good proxy measure for closeted transsexuality though, except perhaps for suicide rate, but then we should be seeing the rate decline among kids.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe, except kids kill themselves for all sorts of reasons. And just because peer pressure is relieved for trans kids doesn’t mean familial pressure is.Report

            • JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              If you want real numbers, here’s a good start (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5227946/)

              It’s a meta-study from 2017, showing the rate to be about 400 per 100k, but they note they expect the numbers to trend higher.

              I’ve seen some of the individual studies, one of which (a 2016 study whose name I can’t recall) noted the same rough number (400 per 100k) but also noted that over half their respondents were younger generations.

              The study I just linked to concludes:

              “Our meta-regression of US population-based surveys indicated a substantial annual increase in the number of transgender adults in the United States. As a consequence, meta-analyses that pool data across several years, including our own, will likely underestimate their numbers. A conservative estimate extrapolating our meta-regression results, while excluding the latest NCHA wave of data as a potential outlier, suggests that the proportion of transgender adults in the United States is 0.39%, or 390 per 100 000, and almost 1 million adults nationally. It should be noted that this estimate may be more indicative for younger adults and that national surveys in the near future may observe higher numbers of transgender people. We speculate that the observed annual increase is not an increase of the true population size, but the result of people feeling freer to report that they are or identify as transgender. This may result from societal changes, such as increased public visibility, awareness, and acceptance of transgender individuals.49 The fact that US society is more aware of transgender issues is also reflected in public interest in the search term “transgender,” which, according to Google Trends, has steadily increased since 2011. PubMed results for the number of publications found with the search term “transgender” show a similar phenomenon, with relatively small increases since 2005, but large increases in the number of publications since 2011.

              Comparison of our population-size estimate with international numbers is not straightforward because, even within a single country, differences in social acceptance affect the number of individuals who are willing to self-report a transgender identity.50 This is why we based our analysis on US national samples only. Our estimate of 0.39% is not quite as high as the 1% that was posited on the basis of a qualitative review of international studies.51 However, this high number was supported by new data from a Dutch population sample aged 15 to 70 years, which found that 1.1% of men and 0.8% of women experienced a gender identity incongruent with their sex assigned at birth.52 Our estimate is also lower than the 0.6% reported by Flores et al., who applied a rigorous statistical technique to extrapolate data from a single survey administered in 19 states to a national level.21”

              In short: The same thing that led to a “surge” in left-handedness is at work here.

              Which apparently has some people panicking. Why I have no idea, as we’re still talking like ….1%, over a trait that is pretty much immutable.

              You’re born that way, and the only question is “when do you discover it about yourself” and “what are you going to do about it” — which seems a pretty personal decision that, nonetheless, Ken Paxton, Greg Abbot, and DeSantis all feel they should decide for you.Report

              • Pinky in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                “We speculate”…”not straightforward”…then you summarize with an assurance that the authors’ don’t have.Report

              • JS in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                So you’re not going to address your cherry-picking up thread about that 60-80% stat, but have the gall to try that? Ballsy.

                I actually gave a link and cited the ENTIRE relevant portion, whereas you deliberately didn’t include the next two highly relevant bits from yours.

                Might want to work on that beam there, buddy.Report

              • Pinky in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I’m not going to address that. Someone wanted a quick answer and I went to Wikipedia because they’re neutral. This site sometimes chokes on too many links, but I spelled out where I got the number from, and it’s not the only place I’ve seen the number. Typically, I’ve seen 80%, but since Wikipedia had 60-80% I went with their number even though it made my case look weaker. I also read the thing I posted, and I’m not completely sure you did the same with yours, because it didn’t make your case as strongly as your summary would indicate.Report

              • JS in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Shall I quote what you left out again?

                “Prospective studies indicate that this is the case for 60 to 80% of those who have entered adolescence; puberty alleviates their gender dysphoria.[33]

                That’s the bit you MENTIONED. Here’s the next two paragraphs you didn’t:

                “The prospective studies have been criticized on the basis that they count as ‘desistance’ cases where the child met the criteria for gender identity disorder as defined in the DSM-III or DSM-IV, but would not have met the updated criteria for gender dysphoria in the DSM-5, established in 2013.[8] Prior to the DSM-III in 1980, there was no diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, so research on desistance rates published prior to 2000 might report inflated numbers of desistance, as gender-nonconforming children without gender dysphoria were included in the studies”

                And no, Wikipedia isn’t really a neutral source and it’s darn well not one when you remove any facts you find inconvenient.

                I cited that study, the ENTIRE relevant portion of the results, and it was all there for you to quibble over. Anyone can easily see it and argue it.

                YOU, on the other hand, deceptively posted only a snippet shorn of context and apparently hoped no one would bother looking.

                And yes I read it. Did you miss their plain language summary? It’s right at the top:

                “We used data from national surveys to estimate the population size of transgender people in the United States. Estimates of the number of transgender adults significantly increased over the past decade, with a current best estimate of 390 per 100 000 adults. That is about 1 in every 250 adults, or almost 1 million Americans. These numbers may be more typical of younger adults than of the entire US population. We expect that future surveys will find higher numbers of transgender people and recommend that standardized questions be used, which will allow a more accurate population size estimate.”

                and concluded:

                “We aimed to estimate the current transgender population size in the United States. On the basis of our analysis of national probability samples, 390 per 100 000 adults are estimated to be transgender in 2016, but the evidence suggests that future surveys will likely observe higher numbers”

                But I’m not going to waste further time with someone happy to lie and then accuse others of his own sins.

                if you ever manage to get the beam out, let me know.Report

              • Pinky in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                Plus, you posted basically the same thing twice in two minutes, leading one of them with “Hey, let me ask you again”. Doing that along with posting a really long excerpt, I have to assume you were trying to make yourself look more thorough to the TL;DR crowd.

                I’ve answered a lot of comments on this thread. I don’t feel the need to apologize for all the ones I haven’t gotten to.Report

  11. Em Carpenter
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve been accused of a lot of things, but writing an intentionally dishonest or misleading piece was not one of them – until now.
    Longform reply forthcoming, assuming I can string together coherent thoughts.Report

  12. pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    So now that I’ve had some more time, let’s actually engage with the big picture here, not as you see it, but as liberals see it. Because that perspective is not accurately reflected in your piece, and the closest you come to it, in this paragraph, doesn’t capture the underlying narrative at all:

    There is this overwhelming attitude put forth by the left, dare I say a narrative, even, that parents are out here plotting and scheming, just itching to stir up trouble and cause problems for teachers.

    We don’t see this as a conflict between parents and teachers. We have variety of reasons for not seeing it this way, which I’ll get into, but that’s not the fundamental conflict we are witnessing.

    What we’re seeing is a resurrection of a conflict that sorta kinda went into remission for about five years, and is then flaring up again:

    Republicans vs. LGBT people.

    Are they building their case on top of an argument about protecting the children?

    Well, yes, they are. They always do that. In calculus that’s the zeroth order term, the constant in your series expansion.

    They’ve always done that. It’s been their go to move for decades, that one way or another, the public existence of LGBT people threatens their children. Very frequently they’ve built this on top of a very ugly and false smear: that gay people have a particular propensity for molesting children.

    When we’re outraged at the use of the term “groomer”, it’s not because Republicans aren’t playing by some sort of rhetorical Marquess of Queensbury rules, but because they are using partisan grievances of exactly the sort you indulge in–that the Left did it first– as an excuse to attack not liberals, but LGBT people, especially LGBT kids, LGBT parents, and LGBT parents.

    It’s not that Republicans are trying to prevent kids [1] from learning that gay people exist, they want to prevent kids from learning that gay people are not morally defective perverts, but human beings deserving of no fewer rights, or less respect, than other people.

    What about the worried parents, you ask?

    Well, what of them? Are we counting every sort of worry a parent might have about how their kids are treated in school, or are we only worried about them being brainwashed by evil transgender extremists?

    Because what about the kids who are barred from mentioning their gay parents during show-and-tell, or the gay students who required to stay closeted, lest they raise questions that cannot be answered for fear of violating deliberately vague and overbroad laws.

    Or the trans kids whose parents do support them, and find themselves subjected to being investigated (and worse) for child abuse for doing so?

    Don’t those parents count? Aren’t their concerns valid?

    Or do they have to agree with you on trans issues before they count?

    [1] Not just their kids; many of them don’t have kids, or don’t have kids in public schoolsReport

    • Jaybird in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      Holy cow. This was a good comment.

      Well, what of them? Are we counting every sort of worry a parent might have about how their kids are treated in school, or are we only worried about them being brainwashed by evil transgender extremists?

      This is where how it is denied comes into play. There have been a non-zero number of less-than-appropriate lessons being taught. I’ll grant that the teachers in question were fired, but that didn’t prevent the lessons from being taught before the teachers were fired.

      “Teachers shouldn’t teach stuff that will get them fired” seems a trivially easy thing to agree on. Nobody would argue that the teacher who taught inappropriate stuff to 1st Graders shouldn’t have been fired.

      And so the worry becomes about preventing the stuff that everybody agrees shouldn’t be taught.

      And the amount of pushback for strengthening the protections against these things being taught.

      (Meanwhile, at the same time, Social Media is doing a bang-up job of finding people who are arguing the stuff that nobody is arguing.)Report

      • pillsy in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Teachers shouldn’t teach stuff that will get them fired” seems a trivially easy thing to agree on. Nobody would argue that the teacher who taught inappropriate stuff to 1st Graders shouldn’t have been fired.

        And so the worry becomes about preventing the stuff that everybody agrees shouldn’t be taught.

        Yeah, and one of the themes I’ve noticed play out repeatedly is that the policymakers and activists leading the charge on this stuff do pretty much the opposite of what you’d do if you wanted to reassure people who are concerned about the impact this might have on LGBT folk.

        Indeed, to address Oscar’s point about the linear term of our metaphorical Taylor expansion, I noticed when the first round of this fight played out, for CRT, early legislative responses tended to be more or less fine, with a clear focus on not teaching stuff that shouldn’t be taught.

        But as they spread and evolved over time, they kept getting worse, and more expansive, until, in some cases, it’s not even clear you can teach why the Confederates started the Civil War, or why we needed a massive protest movement to end segregation.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      There is also the whole, what is the common reference point of two curves? Sine & Cosine look exactly the same as curves, and the difference isn’t obvious unless you you see how they cross 0.Report

    • Chris in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      The aspect of “how much of a say should parents have in their childrens’ public education” discussion is almost exactly the same one we had for over a century, and which dominated much of the online science discussion in the first decade of this century, over evolution. If the majority of parents in a district, say, are Young Earth creationists, should a) they be able to ban the teaching of evolution by natural selection, and b.) should they be able to mandate the teaching of Biblical creation in science classes. I remember people on this blog arguing these things a decade or so ago. I assume the only reason we didn’t have precisely this conversation about even the idea of same-sex parents back when is because the number of books public schools might have in their libraries that had same sex parents in them was small, and parents easily got them banned. It’s more difficult now, as it has been difficult to keep evolution out of science classrooms, so now we’re having it on this subject. Plus ça change…Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      Don’t those parents count? Aren’t their concerns valid?

      How do they not? How are they not being treated as valid?

      They can go and be heard at school board meetings and they can write their legislators. They can tell their kids to video teachers who are failing to teach LGBT equality in age-appropriate ways (rather than *doing so* – in age-inappropriate ways), and then they can put that on the internet.

      Does the fact that parents who feel differently than they do are being heard mean that they themselves aren’t being heard? No. It never can. That is a childish viewpoint.

      In the end there will be policy, and the policy may be very bad from the perspective of some stakeholders. But we are adult enough to understand that that outcome, which is almost always part of any policy creation process, is never sufficient to establish that those stakeholders were actually not given the opportunity to be heard and for their views to be validated even when they don’t govern.

      All parents’ views matter and are valid. Not all will equally influence policy. And very different views will do so more in California relative to what ones do in Florida (just to pick two states).Report

      • pillsy in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        How do they not? How are they not being treated as valid?

        I just read a several-thousand word piece about the subject that did not so much as acknowledge their concerns, or even their existence, except to argue by implication that it’s unfair for them to be angry about being smeared as groomers because people have mean to conservatives in the past.

        That’s what I was responding to.

        As for broader political acknowledgement, it’s fine, but it cuts both ways, or perhaps it cuts in no way at all. It validates any policy outcome whatsoever as long as it meets basic Constitutional requirements.Report

  13. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Its taken me most of the morning, as a father, as a leftist, as a fed, as a Christian, and as a citizen to come up with a coherent response.

    I get it. You, and many many conservatives, look at a fast evolving world and see no one pumping the brakes. We’ve gone from my dad having to save his pesatas to make a short weekly call home from Spain on scratchy phone lines to carrying things in our pockets that let us live stream concerts from Tokyo while we ride the bus to work. We’ve seen Blacks, Women, and Gay people win many battles for rights that you and others never believe they were denied. We see the English language – always bit of a non-linear polyglot mishmash – have to adapt and readapt so that words whose definitions you thought were fixed (like woman) become too flexible for you to recognize. You see religion unnecessarily being scrubbed form the public square. You see people like you being assaulted figuratively when you demand the brake be pumped. You see no one standing up for your traditional family. You feel aggrieved, hurt, angry, and fearful.

    And perhaps worst of all – you are now convinced that people like me want to throw people like you away. Its very clear.

    You know what – guilty as charged. I do want people who think and believe and feel as you do to recede from power in this country. I do want every form of bigotry, misogyny, racism, sexism, ageism, abelism and and any and all forms of discrimination eliminated. And I want them eliminated with extreme prejudice.

    I have worked most of my adult life, and will work until I die, to create a world where Christ’s commandment to me as a believer to love my neighbor as myself means my gay daughter doesn’t have to worry about who she loves preventing her from living where she wants and doing the jobs she loves. I will continue fighting so no transperson (whether I know them IRL or not) ever wakes up with a gun in their mouth because they passed out before they could blow the back of their head off because they could no longer be the hypermasculine man that society demanded instead of the deeply caring woman they now are. I will do metaphorical battle with you every day I can so that my Black nieces and nephews no longer have to experience being told straight up by the teachers you demonize that they will not succeed in things they care about because that’s not what people like them should aspire to do. I will not hide my disgust at state politicians of one party seeking to prevent children from learning about the full diversity of humanity around them, nor will I stay silent about governors and Attorney’s General demanding that caring parent – following medical and psychological guidance – are prosecuted as abusers for simply affirming who their own children are. And I will demand taking power from politicians who believe they have ANY business telling my daughters what they can do with their bodies medically. EVER.

    And I will never, ever, back down from my demand that if you want to engage with me, you do so with facts, not just feelings. Show me the overwhelming data that teachers – by simply doing their jobs – are actively grooming kids for nefarious ends. Drown me in citations of real world studies of how much worse off people are because of the ends I seek to create. Clobber me with thousands of legal decisions that seeking to enhance a person’s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness will be restricted, much less eliminated by openly talking about who they are in front of kids who might have similar questions.

    Or, recognize your fear for what it is. And then let me help you through it. Every “concern” you wrote about above has a lot of good hard fact to refute it. Fact which, if you choose to wrestle with it, make the decisions of Republican politicians seem like power hungry desperation.

    There are many, many different pathways to a more perfect union. You are not advocating for any of the good ones. Having taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, I will not back down.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      You want your foes eliminated with extreme prejudice?Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        I want bigotry eliminated with extreme prejudice.
        I want misogyny eliminated with extreme prejudice.
        I want abelism eliminated with extreme prejudice.

        I want the ideas and their underlying enforcement mechanisms eliminated. I don’t think the people need to go to achieve that.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          When a leftist tells you he wants your ideas eliminated with extreme prejudice, believe him.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            You can eliminate ideas without eliminating people.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not buying that from you today. No one talks about eliminating ideas with extreme prejudice, and no self-professed socialist would waste that kind of time when he knows a faster way. You may not think you mean what you said, but you do.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Lots of people talk about a lot of things. I chose that image precisely because I find the ideas of bigotry, misogyny abelism etc so deeply evil that I do want them eliminated in such a way they do not come back. I have no intention of using physical violence to create that world. But if other want to repel me through physical violence let them try.Report

              • Patrick in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Notice that nowhere in this subthread does he say, “Hey, naw, man, that’s not cool. We want to eliminate those things, too, but you’re getting overhyped in your rhetoric.”

                You explicitly state you want “bigotry, misogyny, racism, sexism, ageism, abelism and and any and all forms of discrimination eliminated” and he reads that as “your political opponents”.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Patrick
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a common rebuttal to being an out leftist around here. I’m used to it and find that engaging it never goes anywhere. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed though.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Patrick
                Ignored
                says:

                When on another thread his rebuttal to “government isn’t allowed to do that” is “but I think it’s important”, then you know what you’re dealing with.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      you’re awful sure that fifty-percent-plus-one of the country is on your side, sirReport

      • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        70% of Americans want abortion permitted with only some or no restrictions.
        70% of Americans support keeping gay marriage legal.
        80% of Americans say they favored laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing

        52% of Americans want more strict gun control laws.

        55% of Americans support eliminating gerrymandering, regardless of their political affiliation.
        65% supported expanding access to early voting
        61% making Election Day a holiday
        55% expanding access to voting by mail

        So yeah I do think they are on my side sir.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          if there’s that many people who agree with you then why are you so mad about this post? just consign it to the ash-heap of history, declare it one more Karen who doesn’t understand that the proper place for women is in the woman-place keeping their god damn mouths shut about things they don’t know anything about. (which attitude should be familiar to you, because you are, as you point out, a father and a Christian.)Report

          • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t want anyone to keep their mouths shut. And I’m not telling Kristine or anyone else to do so. Nor will I.

            I will still engage with ideas I find unintelligent, even abhorrent and evil, and I will seek to refute them. Isn’t that what freedom of speech is supposed to be all about?

            Or would you rather the liberals and leftists just shrink from the public square so you don’t have to be bothered with us?Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              “I don’t want anyone to keep their mouths shut. And I’m not telling Kristine or anyone else to do so. ”

              I recognize that you need to think you are not doing this. (also, the woman’s name is right up there at the top of the blog post, but I guess feeling such impossibly strong emotion that you can’t even remember women’s names is another one of those things Christians do.)

              “[W]ould you rather the liberals and leftists just shrink from the public square so you don’t have to be bothered with us?”

              Oh no no, do stay; I love seeing my earlier conclusions confirmed.Report

  14. Andrew Donaldson
    Ignored
    says:

    I am, it takes me a minute to go through them. I appreciate you moving along with the discussion and dropping this.Report

  15. Russell Michaels
    Ignored
    says:

    Excellent article.Report

  16. Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Democrats run a child molestation ring out of a pizza parlor in DC.

    The election was stolen by child molesters.

    Justice Jackson is soft on child molesters.

    So take me seriously when I call teachers child molesters, because it’s not a term I use lightly.Report

    • JS in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      I do love the “Okay, but clearly we have to decide if this is a real, grassroots issue driven by those darn liberal groomers or — just to be fair — we have to at least consider if maybe, in an election year, this might be some sort of…culture war ploy.

      But it’s PROBABLY the vast cabal of baby-eating liberal pedophiles. Pedophiling. As always”Report

  17. Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    I didn’t get far past this part, because oof, this was bad, so I will just note that a.) Galileo didn’t say that, and b.) not only did he not say that, but calculus, at least not as anyone uses the word today, did not exist in Galileo’s lifetime, though he probably knew of the concept of a derivative from the (mostly) French mathematicians who were discussing it.

    On the substance, I think we can ask, do the laws allow the reading of books that include families with same-sex parents? If not, then the laws are bad, and anyone who thinks it’s a good thing the laws don’t allow it is a bigot, by definition, and I can’t imagine any non-bigot caring what you say.Report

  18. Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    My problem with the initial analogy is that the “grooming” accusations are not just trivia. They distort the entire debate, pulling the other points way out of shape. People are literally being called child molesters because they have the temerity to disagree with Republicans on this issue. And it’s going to results in violence, as we say with the Pizzagate thing.

    By contrast, the dangers you are addressing are largely hypothetical, with few concrete examples of actual harm. It’s not that I disagree with you, necessarily; I don’t like a lot of what is being taught in schools either. It’s that we seem to be comparing a possible danger to a very real escalation of the rhetoric that has already produced measurable harm.Report

  19. Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    lol, it’s been covered, but gotta point out again that you have flaws in your understanding of calculus and the history of calculus.

    Not even remotely. In addition to quite a lot of normal, everyday people both right and left who are troubled by what they’re seeing, many gay people, including gay parents, are concerned about extremism happening both in the schools and in their movement because they see it as a way to prey upon the vulnerable and even ERASE gay children by telling them that their same-sex attraction is actually a sign they were “born into the wrong body”.

    double lol, Andrew Sullivan has been on twitter trying to push back on the grooming narrative since this post
    https://twitter.com/sullydish/status/1506707344964689921

    triple lol, you’ve cited a policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran as something any American or other LGBT advocates want.Report

    • JS in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      “triple lol, you’ve cited a policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran as something any American or other LGBT advocates want.”

      I missed that. What’s even worse — that idiocy dates back to the 60s, in which trans women were divided into two categories: Gay men so gay they wanted to be women, and fetishists (because sexual orientation and gender are, of course, the same) — we’re talking 30+ year old discredited garbage that is roundly and fully hated and despised by the trans community.

      And the OP is pushing something the trans community has hated for 5 decades as their GOAL? Jesus, this site really has gone downhill.

      I vaguely recall the days the folks running this place frowned on outright lies and bigotry on at least their own posts.

      Now? 5 decade old slurs, sourced to Iran, and ascribed to the “trans community”.

      I’m starting to see why there’s fewer gay and trans posters than there used to be.Report

      • Philip H in reply to JS
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m starting to see why there’s fewer gay and trans posters than there used to be.

        I noticed that too. But I’m not surprised, as their departure from this space seems consistent with the attempts by GOP politicians to erase them IRL.

        Makes us far less well rounded to boot.Report

        • JS in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Seeing a few “liberal” commentators go mask-off was not surprising, to be honest. A bit surprising how easily some of them are swayed by satanic panic level stuff — apparently they’re eager to worry about any children but the gay and trans ones. Better a dozen trans kids be shoved into a closet or beaten at home, than one imaginary straight child learn Heather has two mommies.

          Seeing the essays published on the front page, though….

          I’ve been seeing more and more that to get a “conservative” viewpoint they’re clearly having to let lies, BS, and now open bigotry come through.

          I’m not sure why, exactly, the standards have slipped to the point where I got to read an essay by someone complaining he couldn’t find a church where men were men, women were women, and that knew gays shouldn’t get married.

          Or why I’ve gotten to read this hot garbage — it wasn’t the 50 year old outdated and discredited research being cited that was the worst, it was the fact that they ascribed to to the LGBTQ movement when said movement loathes the biggest name that pushed that hot garbage because he was such a big proponent of it and did so much harm to the trans community in the years he was considered a big name.

          It’s akin to reading someone criticizing Christianity by talking about how Christianity has a difficult relationship with Satan, whom, they nailed to a cross.

          It’s so wrong that you can’t help but conclude they don’t believe their own argument — just their conclusion. The argument was just…filler. Got to pretend, right?Report

        • North in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Fewer gay and trans posters? I am familiar with only one trans regular (Veronica) but who’re the gay ones who’ve absented themselves?Report

    • Chris in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Shared lol’sReport

    • Pinky in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      “you’ve cited a policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran as something any American or other LGBT advocates want.”

      I missed that. Where?Report

  20. Jennifer Worrel
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m struggling reading this.

    Em’s piece (which I had not read until this rebuttal) was extremely personal and simply made the point that [the term in question] cannot mean two extremely different things effectively.

    If there is a need for a debate (I’m up for *all* debates) regarding how or if a public school approach to gender and sexuality issues is important, lets have that discussion, from every angle and underneath.

    But come on, lots of broad brush strokes here: “I find that liberals, even good and fine people…” “This overwhelming attitude put forth by the left…”

    Between the repeated references to another’s essay and the generalizations, it kind of comes across as cat-fighty. That–sadly, and at least for me–overshadows the point of the piece.Report

  21. Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    @inmd

    Down here.

    “There’s a premise floating around out there that parents are somehow the enemies of their own children, or that kids need to be rescued from the people that both care most about them and are most responsible for them. No parents are perfect but the whole idea is crazy and wrong.”

    Okay, I need to make something very clear here.

    I serve on a school board and I see the blue packets when kids are up for suspension, which includes their entire school history and all of the things they’ve allegedly done along with all of the ancillary investigation information.

    I see the reports on the percentage of our kids who are in foster care and the pattern of parental abuse associated with those kids.

    I’m going to tell you right now that your claim that this idea that “parents are the enemies of their kids is crazy and wrong”, and that the norm is not only the opposite but that violations of the norm are so rare that they should be discounted as important policy considerations is completely out of line with the reality of K-12 age children.

    Somewhere around 1% of K-12 age kids suffer documented abuse that gets all the way to CPS [1]. The number of steps that need to occur to get all the way to the point where CPS has a sustained finding against a parent is huge, so the actual rate of real physical abuse in this country is well above that 1%.

    By my estimation based upon frequency distribution of complaints that make it to my level (which is well below what it takes to get CPS involved), it is at least 2x and possibly as high as 4x as common. That’s almost 1 in 20 kids – or at about one kid per classroom – who is abused by a parent.

    I know this boggles the mind of people who can’t really conceive of hitting their own kid, or worse. But it happens, and it’s a lot more common than you think, and absolutely the best chance some of these kids have to get help in these environments is from their teacher, who is the adult outside the home who has the best chance to accurately identify children who are being abused. Teachers are twice as likely as social workers or medical professionals to be the source of a substantiated CPS report. Which of course is obvious if you think about how often they see the kids.

    And they of course won’t be able to do that job if the alternative narrative: that any teacher that asks them about potential abuse, particularly sexual abuse is “grooming” them for political reasons or for ideological outcomes, is the default narrative.

    “There is this overwhelming attitude put forth by the left, dare I say a narrative, even, that parents are out here plotting and scheming, just itching to stir up trouble and cause problems for teachers. According to this same narrative, teachers are, without any exceptions, just totally pure of mind and spirit and motive, have no personal agendas, are as wholesome as an episode of Leave It To Beaver, and eternally have every child’s best interests at heart, in every instance, all the time, inarguably.”

    This ridiculous false dichotomy, being immediately disclaimed aside, is what this piece actually feeds right into right after it claims that this is a false dichotomy: “But we love our kids and we are deeply concerned about some massive and unignorable things that cannot be handwaved away by splitting hairs about the use of the word “grooming”.”

    Maybe if the hair-splitting about grooming is such a problem, those parents shouldn’t be walking around organizing protests using it on their placards. Also it would help if they have any idea whatsoever what some of the kids in the same schools as their kids are going through and how often it’s that fine upstanding appearing guy down the street that is the one abusing his kids.

    This piece is woefully ignorant of what kids in K-12 public education are actually dealing with, period.

    [1] https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/canstats.pdfReport

    • Patrick in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      I also would like to say that if you want to argue about terms, maybe okay, but this?

      “If the left demands outrage from me over the misuse of the word “grooming” then the left should have stood up and stood firm when all those other words were redefined.”

      This might go over better if it didn’t read as straight grievance.

      These are the things you list as stuff they’ve allegedly redefined:

      “I don’t like it when “white supremacist” is redefined, for example. Or “science”. Or “gender”. Or “tolerance”. Or “antifascism”. Or “Nazi”, a particularly odious term which has been bandied about with abandon, even by people here on this site. I REALLY don’t like how the word “woman” is being redefined. Not a fan of “mostly peaceful protests”. I don’t like how a man asking a woman for her phone number, as irritating and out of line as it can be, has been redefined as “sexual assault”.”

      If you think the debate over gender identity or science is so offensive to you that the proper recourse is to deliberately choose a term used to describe pedophiles and use it to describe activities that in the main are used to, you know, actually catch pedophiles, I don’t know what to say except that is deeply messed up.Report

      • Chris in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        “Woman” as an example of something that’s been redefined is the truly revealing one, though I think all of them are pretty revealing (I’ll give her Nazi, even though probably for different reasons: e.g., I think the Confederacy was as bad, and Lost Causism is as bad as Nazi nostalgia, but is not Nazism).Report

      • Pinky in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        “If you think the debate over gender identity or science is so offensive to you…”

        At the risk of speaking for someone else, I doubt she’s offended by the debate over gender or science except to the extent that those words’ meanings are being changed on the spot as part of one side’s argument. The hypocrisy is the offensive thing. Well, that and the damage done by not treating terms properly. If memory serves, people were being called German ultranationalists on that thread and Em didn’t speak up about it.Report

        • Em Carpenter in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Let me go ahead and say it then: only German ultranationalists are German ultranationalists.
          Nazis aren’t the only terrible people in existence; please stop using the word interchangeably with “assholes.”Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        If we’re going to be griping about using terms that have spongy, amorphous definitions and label a very inexactly-defined group of people who are tarred with an overbroad brush so as to broadly attribute a panoply of awful harmful things of which they ought be ashamed but aren’t based upon the actions, whether real, imagined, or exaggerated, of rather small and not particularly significant weirdos vaguely associated with the broad constellations of people and beliefs associated with the terms, I suggest we include the following three:

        1. The Left
        2. The Right
        3. Libertarians

        I don’t know who any of these people are, the definitions of any of those groups, and every time I see them invoked, they are invoked disparagingly and with brushes broader than an interstate highway.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko
          Ignored
          says:

          Nazis, on the other hand, we know who they are. They have 100% faith in their leader; they praise his strength and power constantly and see him as essential to national greatness. They are more than willing, even eager, to do violence on his behalf. And he is a symbol for the true members of the nation, those who, despite their current oppression by the false elites, will one day rise up and crush them.

          Good thing we don’t have anyone like that.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      In an ideal situation, an ideal school can help protect children who are in a far-from-ideal home situation.

      The same can be said for, for example, clergy. An ideal church can help protect children from a far-from-ideal home situation.

      But there have been… well, incidents over the past few years where it came out that the number of ideal churches out there is very small indeed. Shamefully so. Worse, there were found to have been a number of church staff that were abusers themselves.

      I’m sure you’ve seen news stories like this one. So have a lot of other people.

      In a perfect world, the schools would be trustworthy.

      Were there any scandals at your school when you were a kid? One of the staff (not teachers) got fired for “an inappropriate relationship” with a student when I was in New York (she got pregnant, I understand). I heard rumors of other things but, you know. Rumors. Who can say what the truth is?

      All that to say: there is already an alternative narrative out there. And it relies on schools being safer for the average student than the average home is for the average child.

      And I’d have to see numbers for that to come to a conclusion. (Goodness knows, teacher-student relationships are sensationalized above and beyond abuse at home. So *THAT* doesn’t help either.)Report

      • Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        One of the scholastics who was at my high school the same time I was was later arrested for molestation. I’m familiar with the phenomenon.

        I know you’re just doing this thing where you’re out here trying to convince me that reasonable people have reasonable fears in this case.

        I understand where the fears come from. They’re massively, hugely, overwhelmingly disproportionate, probably driven in no small part because stories about a teacher molesting a kid eventually wind up in the paper but stories about parents molesting their kids are overwhelmingly not, simply because of all of the privacy laws having to do with students.

        I don’t really have a problem with people not understanding where the balance lies and where the problems are.

        I have a huge fucking problem with elected officials making hay off of this topic to get votes and stoke outrage because they absolutely have access to information other than what gets into the paper.Report

        • Patrick in reply to Patrick
          Ignored
          says:

          Also, they know what they’re doing when they use “grooming”. This isn’t an accident and it’s intentionally designed to derail this conversation. This piece as apologetics for that is just embarrassing.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Patrick
          Ignored
          says:

          I know you’re just doing this thing where you’re out here trying to convince me that reasonable people have reasonable fears in this case.

          Nah. I’m telling you nothing you don’t already know.

          I have a huge … problem with elected officials making hay off of this topic to get votes and stoke outrage because they absolutely have access to information other than what gets into the paper.

          They stumbled across this particular trick and were surprised to find that it worked (hell, I’m sure that they were shocked to find that the whole “CRT” thing worked). They’re going to keep pressing that pellet bar long after the pellets stop coming out.

          (Compare to the people who scream “Bigot bigot bigot bigot” like they’re doing Men at Work at Karaoke night.)Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Patrick
          Ignored
          says:

          “I know you’re just doing this thing where you’re out here trying to convince me that reasonable people have reasonable fears in this case.”

          I think what he’s doing is pointing out that when you say “it’s okay for schools to act in loco parentis but not churches because schools don’t have the history of abuse that churches do”, you are saying something that is not true.Report

          • Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Statistically it is true though. Rates of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic Priests FAR outstrip rates of sexual abuse of minors by school teachers. And teachers are more often tried and convicted by courts – thus doing jail time – the Catholic priests are. Which means that short cut analogies making the two thing equivalent are not factually based.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              The study linked below states:

              As a group, these studies present a wide range of estimates of the percentage of U.S. students subject to sexual misconduct by school staff and vary from 3.7 to 50.3 percent (Table 5). Because of its carefully drawn sample and survey methodology, the AAUW report that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career presents the most accurate data available at this time

              It gets into issues of methodology and discusses why the range is that big. And why they settled on just under 1 out of 10.

              I don’t know if 1 out of 10 “FAR” outstrips the rate of abuse in the Catholic Church.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Given what we know about the vast scale of pedophilia in churches, is it time to ask if religious schools even be allowed?

                Or at the very least, allow parents to sue churches if they suspect children are being exposed to inappropriate behaviors?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No, he protested, don’t start comparing churches to schools.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Please understand, I’m coming at this from the cynical politics angle.

                That if our goal is to destroy the public’s faith in churches so as to weaken their political power, it is only logical to highlight their record of pedophilia and abuse.

                Another is to shine a spotlight on the suppressed homoeroticism contained within rightwing culture, illustrated by Carlson’s Triumph Of The Tool video.

                See the thing about panicked herds is that they can be turned in almost any direction.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah. You’d think that the media would want to cover the story of churches. It’s weird that they haven’t.

                If they ever do, do you think that it’ll be appropriate to cover any other story about any other topic, ever?

                Or will you wait until the story is actually covered instead of covered up before you answer that question?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m just saying that if I were a Republican running for election in a year dominated by the issue of child abuse, stories like Chaya Raichik and LibsOfTikTok certainly would be most unhelpful.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Man, sounds like the best way to own the Republicans would be to publicize that bad-faith LibsOfTikTok account.

                “LOOK AT THIS!”, you should yell. “THIS IS WHAT THEY REALLY BELIEVE!!!”

                Imagine how bad you could make Republicans look by pointing her out.

                McMegan, by the way, points out that doxxing her shouldn’t do *TOO* much damage:

                Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                People are already circulating tweets by Chaya supporting Milo Y during his “Men should totally have sex with teenage boys” phase, so yeah…not a good look.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                What an opportunity!

                Imagine how bad you could make Republicans look by publicizing her twitter!

                (Did you see that the story originally linked to her Realty license? Man, I think that people should go out of their way to persuade people inclined to use her Realty for purchases to use a different one. Let her know that this sort of thing is *NOT* okay. Let her Realty know. Let everybody in her community know.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Judging by the level of outrage from the right, I’d say the missile hit the ship.

                See what I’m attacking here is the Savvy Cynical Strategery thingy, by demonstrating that even by its own metrics, bigotry is a weak political strategy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Judging by the level of outrage from the (X), I’d say the missile hit the ship.

                You really want to use this yardstick in the “groomer” discussion?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                People are already circulating tweets by Chaya supporting Milo Y

                These tweets are not only denied as being real by LibsOfTikTok, one of the people who opposes LOTT has bragged in responses about making it up and saying something to the effect of “if people believe that satire about you is real, that’s something that you need to reflect on, it’s not my problem”.

                So… that particular smear is only poetically true, it’s not, like, *ACTUALLY* true.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                LibsOfTikTok, for better or worse, has chosen to live and risk death by the sword.

                What’s striking to me though is the broad assertions of harm caused by the person/persona in question without any apparent dispute of the authenticity of the videos LibsOfTikTok posts. Like if they were fake or Project Veritas style misleading that would be one thing (and maybe they are and I’ve just missed it). But if it is just ‘you are drawing attention to something we wish you wouldn’t’? Well…. woa.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s what makes LibsOfTikTok so particularly frustrating.

                Imagine if LibsOfTikTok said “They doxxed me. They posted my deets. I’m out.” Then she shut it down.

                The basic idea of the account is something that anybody and everybody could do. “Here is what they said. Look at it.”

                Defeating LibsOfTikTok? Easy. Defeating the business model?Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Others will be quick to remind me that there is a very reasonable and quite possibly accurate response to it, which is by the numbers, if you go out searching the internet for strange people with strange ideas you will find them 100% of the time. Their existence alone does not make the case for the kinds of statutes that have been passed, and there are plenty of existing mechanisms in place to deal with it.

                It’s when someone seems to suggest that there’s really nothing off at all about those individuals that go online and publicly state their intentions to cross lines with other peoples’ children where I say WTF.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The contradictions keep getting heightened.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                All I can say, is that it’s a good thing no one other than liberals are actually on twitter. But then, that’s the affrontery of it all.Report

              • cam in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                “It’s when someone seems to suggest that there’s really nothing off at all about those individuals that go online and publicly state their intentions to cross lines with other peoples’ children where I say WTF.”

                On that one I’m with you. I’ve seen it from left and right – the ones you probably know on the left side since they seem to get put on Fox news, but also rightward public school teachers talking about how they’re ‘bringing their students to Christ’ or they have to teach about evolution but they are going to teach how it is WRONG. Anyone both nutty enough and dumb enough to post that kind of thing online is too nutty and stupid to be allowed anywhere near a teaching position.Report

              • InMD in reply to cam
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, this exactly.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem is not that the videos are fake: the problem is that she lumps in innocuous things–basically people just being gay or trans–with the nuts and then calls the whole lot of them groomers.

                Also, she’s happy to broadcast others’ lies without any sort of correction. A lesser sin, perhaps, but still not remotely good.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, I ask (carefully): why are you always so sure your opponents are the panicked herds? Do you ever consider that your side may be displaying those traits?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The percentage of Republicans versus Democrats who believe the 2020 election was stolen;

                The percentage of Republicans versus Democrats who believe anti-vax nonsense;

                The percentage of Republicans versus Democrats who believe there is a secret worldwide conspiracy of pedophiles to control society;Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who don’t know the difference between men and women;

                The percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who believe the 2016 election was stolen;

                The percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who think that unarmed black people regularly get shot by police;Report

              • Chris in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who don’t know the difference between men and women

                The amount of transphobia on this site, as revealed in the OP and thread, is disturbing.

                The percentage of Democrats versus Republicans who think that unarmed black people regularly get shot by police

                Define regularly? Between 2015 and 2020, there were 135 recorded incidents of unarmed black people being shot, and that’s just the ones we know about. I would call that regularly. You may not, but it’s not unreasonable to think that pushing 2 a month over years is “regularly.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                This appears to be a legitimate study indicating that liberals are wrong in their assessment of police violence against unarmed blacks by orders of magnitude:

                https://www.skeptic.com/research-center/reports/Research-Report-CUPES-007.pdfReport

              • Chris in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It looks like the modal Democrat is off by less than 80, which doesn’t seem unreasonable, particularly since the choices are 10 or 100, and the correct answer is in between. And of course, that’s just the ones we know. Before the widespread filming of police, we wouldn’t have known about many of the ones we do know, and so many shootings are still not filmed.

                Larger point being, “Have different opinions about gender and when given the choice between under and overestimating, overestimate then number of unarmed black people killed by police” are pretty different from “believe the election was stolen” and “believe there’s a worldwide conspiracy of pedophiles,” or even the incredibly deadly anti-vaccine beliefs of much of the rightReport

              • JS in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                “The amount of transphobia on this site, as revealed in the OP and thread, is disturbing.”

                But not surprising.

                And with that, adios.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The percentage of Republicans versus Democrats who think whining is manly.Report

          • Pat in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, point me to where I said that?Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        No, he protested, don’t start comparing churches to schools.Report

    • InMD in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      I have no problem with school officials calling law enforcement or CPS or whatever if they suspect a child is being physically abused. There are then mechanisms in place for parents to be notified and contest allegations, and eventually laws and courts that can make determinations about what, if anything, is to be done. These are imperfect to be sure but they are what we have.

      The rest of this is some pretty out there motte and bailey though. Like, some children are abused, therefore all parents should be treated as suspects all the time? And further public school personnel must be permitted to secretly and in perpetuity counsel children on whatever topic, no matter how sensitive, change records, and mislead parents about that, at their sole discretion? Give me a break.Report

      • Pat in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        I think it’s really weird that you think that every teacher actively assumes that all parents are suspects, or you think that I do? I don’t even know how you got there?

        Also that *because* school officials are occasionally investigating these things this is equivalent to they are all doing it all the time on their own recognizance? At their sole discretion?

        I mean, that’s weird, brother.

        This whole goddamn commentary thread is a gigantic excluded middle argument.Report

        • InMD in reply to Pat
          Ignored
          says:

          Your original comment quoted both me but also Kristin from the OP so maybe I got my wires crossed. It’s possible I misunderstood, but my position on the issue also keeps being misconstrued- so I say for the umpteenth time on these posts- I don’t support the laws in question (FL as written, TX at all) and I don’t think the real motivation for the laws are concerns about ‘grooming’ children for sexual abuse.

          My dissents are and remain to a number of counter-arguments to the law from my own side that strike me as themselves paranoid or dangerous if the thinking underlying them is followed to its natural conclusion.

          Re: investigation, you can see earlier parts in this conversation where it is suggested that we can assume any child experiencing questions of gender expression or sexuality is so likely to be abused by their parents that it is appropriate for school officials to counsel them in secret, withhold information from the parents, and possibly be misleading to them. That is what I mean by making assumptions of guilt- the idea that parents just can’t be trusted not to commit crimes against their children so schools must be allowed to act in secret to protect them.

          As for reporting of abuse in general, I don’t have a problem with it and agree that there should be a protocol for public schools to report suspected abuse to the authorities. But teachers and admins are not cops. They aren’t CPS. They aren’t judges. They shouldn’t be conducting lengthy investigations on criminal conduct. The fact that it may at some time be necessary to report suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities is not a reason to allow discretionary counseling and withholding of information to parents related to a child’s sexual health. That’s the motte and the bailey I keep seeing, and that I have a problem with. Hopefully this clarifies.Report

          • Patrick in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            Thanks, dude this is a good ground clearance. I got where you at now.

            I’ll address this point:

            “Re: investigation, you can see earlier parts in this conversation where it is suggested that we can assume any child experiencing questions of gender expression or sexuality is so likely to be abused by their parents that it is appropriate for school officials to counsel them in secret, withhold information from the parents, and possibly be misleading to them.”

            Okay, I can speak only to the law in California, which I’m pretty familiar with, but generally speaking most of the U.S. has somewhat similar legal frameworks (although who knows how long that is going to stand up).

            California’s Department of Education has a pretty good write up on mandated reporting and potential abuse, it’s here:

            https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/ap/childabusereportingguide.asp

            The short and skinny of it is that if you’re a mandated reporter (I am one) you have to report to one of the following agencies:

            A Police or Sheriff’s Department (not including a school district police department or school security department).

            A County Probation Department, if designated by the county to receive child abuse reports.

            A County Welfare Department/County Child Protective Services.

            Intra-district reporting can also be mandated by your school district (a teacher might have to inform a principal, or an administrator in charge of child welfare), but your obligation is to report suspected abuse to CPS, basically. You cannot report that out to the parents, absolutely not, big no-no.

            The standard for what constitutes suspected abuse is as you can see on the page subject to repeated use of the word “reasonable”. A real and ongoing criticism of this, and dialogue about it, is omnipresent in CA education, because it puts teachers in particular in the difficult position of having to check their gut check before they report, and their other antibias training reminds them that they may be more likely to report based upon things not tied to an objective assessment of the kid. It’s definitely not a foolproof system by any means, and the standard demonstrably leads to an underreporting of abuse.

            You also have to remember that serial abusers are usually trained to it by being victims of it themselves, so they have the list of quick answers and jocular and causal attitude that makes initial inquiries (“Ooof, yeah, Johnny really took a header after watching too many Tony Hawk videos, but he’s such a stakeboarding nut…”) make people who thing something might be off second-guess themselves.

            IN PRACTICE what this means is that teachers often are the first to become aware of a pattern of abuse, but they’re also not wizards and don’t peg to it immediately.

            So let’s say a kid comes to a teacher and says they have a problem and have nobody else to turn to. Okay, that’s immediately going to raise a red flag because already that sounds like an abuse report in the making, right? I mean, kids got problems they really usually mostly go to parents or an older sibling, if the kid is coming to the teacher in the first place saying they have no place to go the teacher has to go back to that standard and ask themselves if a reasonable person might worry that one of the reasons why the kid is coming to the teacher is *because* they’re afraid of abuse from a parent.

            But that’s not enough, in and of itself, because teachers are also trained to know (and any teacher with a classroom experience of five or more years has had hammered into them by the kids they’ve already been around) that kids are emotional rollercoasters (particularly at certain stages of development) and often pitch and yaw in the short term over things that really are just normal adolescent behaviors. So the teacher has to interact with the kid, as best as they can, and find out what’s going on.

            What happens next is going to be entirely up to what the kid says, and how they say it, because the behavior is as important as the words. If the kid says that he’s got these feelings and he doesn’t know how to explain it to his parents, but he’s not exhibiting stress, just embarassment, the teacher is going to take a whole different course than if he’s outright terrified. It’s almost always going to be the case that the teacher is going to counsel the kid to talk to parents – how do they react? Are they mortified or terrified? Like, those are different.

            This is hugely complex and if you go visit one of those gay-straight alliances or talk to a support group (there are support groups for parents of LGBTQA parents, you can hear the sorts of stories parents tell each other about how their kids came out) you can hear stories that range all over the place.

            But teachers generally don’t keep secrets from parents unless one of two conditions is true: they’re expressly forbidden to do so by case law or statute in their state or they suspect abuse. In some states, for example, if a kid comes and tells you as a teacher that they’re gay and asks you not to tell their parents, you are (by current case law in CA anyway) stuck, even if you think you know the parent better than the kid does (for more references on outing LGBTQA kids in particular, see: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2888&context=llr). Note the case of Nguon v. Wolf pages 21 and following Wyatt v. Kilgore Independent School District which shows that this protection also comes with dubious enforcement if broken, and note further that anti-bullying statutes can go counter to privacy law, which puts teachers in a particular bind if a student tells you that they’re gay, and that they’re being beat up by some other student for it, you have to report the bullying to the parent because the safety overrides the privacy concern (that’s described further, same link, I should write a post about this actually).

            Note that a lot of the concerns that folks are talking about when it comes to parental consent are already settled law in the US: tough bananas, parental authorities often don’t override student’s privacy rights. If the student doesn’t want you to tell the parents, that indicates a parenting problem, not a teacher problem, and the teacher’s best route forward is to encourage the student to consider talking to the parent, but they can’t just out the kid.

            Although this is the actual-law-as-stands, there’s enough holes in it to drive a truck through if a teacher *wants* to out the kid, which happens a lot.Report

            • Patrick in reply to Patrick
              Ignored
              says:

              One thing to remember is that the common layperson understanding of “parent’s rights” is wrong. I mean that literally, it doesn’t conform to the way the law actually works in the U.S.

              Standard disclaimer, IANAL, of course.

              People think that parent’s rights are a thing inherent in being themselves. That is, if you are a parent, you have particular rights over your child. That’s not how US law works. Individuals have rights, not associations. Associations have power.

              Your *kid* has rights. As many of them as you do plus a few more actually, because they’re minors (they have, for example, a right to an education).

              You, as a parent, have *authorities* that are basically kid’s rights with you as the executor, because they are minor children and can’t make a whole slew of decisions on their own. But your authority doesn’t overrule the kids’ rights, not legally anyway *

              This is longstanding and well established in US case law. Kids have a right to privacy. You don’t have the authority to breach it just because you want to. See that link in the previous comment about all sorts of rulings that reinforce that.

              When you say, “The fact that it may at some time be necessary to report suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities is not a reason to allow discretionary counseling and withholding of information to parents related to a child’s sexual health.”

              Yeah, that’s actually legally speaking a huge number of cases because if the student has a detail like “I’m gay” or “I think I might be trans” but doesn’t want their parent to know and explicitly says “please don’t tell my parents”, the teacher is in the space where legally speaking they need a real justification that there is a fairly immediate threat to the child’s well being the justifies telling the parents anyway. This is why the bullying statue stands up, or if a kid says, “I’m thinking about killing myself” teachers have to report that to parents, because there’s a present risk to the child’s immediate well being and not informing their guardian puts their safety at risk. But absent some revelation that they have real issues, you can’t even rely on the science that says that trans kids are at a higher risk of suicide to justify informing the parents, you have to have cause to believe that that elevated population risk is actually applicable to the individual right in front of you.

              Not that this means you don’t tell anybody! In public school (at least in my district) this *would certainly* be something that would go to the school psychologist or counselor for follow up. And in most cases counselor would actually counsel the kid to tell their parents (again, if you talk to parents of LGBTQA kids who came out to someone other than their parents first, most of them will tell you that either the teacher or counselor or school nurse talked the kid into telling their parents).

              * we will ignore for the sake of this comment that in practice this is in many times and places a fiction for all sorts of reasons, mostly due to the fact that a substantial fraction of US adults don’t understand the law and think of children’s rights as subservient to their authorities and they pass all kinds of laws routinely to enforce that. Most of which get overturned eventually but in any given time and place some are on the books and some that have been overturned are routinely ignored by parents, cops, and anybody who might be able to do anything about it anyway.

              Does the system always work this way? No, of course not.

              Why the successes don’t get into the news and the failures don’t is another whole post in itself.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Patrick
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d just like to thank Patrick for this excellent pair of comments regarding the law around mandating reporting and child privacy.Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I appreciate his breakdown of the protocol they’re following in his neck of the woods, especially on reporting of abuse, but he left out some major things that I think need to be corrected.

                The first is FERPA, which is a federal law that contra Patrick’s implication does give parents the right to review and amend their childrens’ records held by public educational institutions. Children do not have a right to privacy that prevents parents from accessing them. If the school is creating records parents have a right to see them.

                Second, while I don’t know what the law is in CA, MD has a statute on the books that expressly provides for parental access to school records about their child. Again, contra Patrick I doubt that’s unusual. These 2 laws are the basis of the lawsuit local to me I mentioned earlier.

                Now obviously this is not legal advice to anyone reading this comment but this is why it’s important not to just defer. I am a lawyer and a privacy officer as I’ve made it known on here. Patrick did mention ‘statutes and case law’ but these are not to just be hand waved away. When schools they’re withholding or do not disclose the existence of records due to an abuse protocol they may well be the ones violating the law.Report

              • Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                It may also be true – as is frighteningly common – that schools are responding to contradictory laws the best way they can. We have to navigate this all the time in the federal space. Assuming the school is forthcoming with its administrative record in court, you may indeed find the school was legally backed into a corner and made the best call it could.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      i see we are moving from “no that never happens and you’re a bastard for saying it does” to “yes that totally happens and you’re a bastard for saying it oughtn’t”Report

  22. MAJC Man
    Ignored
    says:

    I find this article to be seething and mean spirited in ways that I’m not sure were intended but hard to separate. I think that bad faith may have clouded an otherwise interesting thinker from understanding their ideological opponent’s argument enough to make a coherent counter,
    The atrocious policies of the Iranian regime was a particularly distracting inclusion.Report

  23. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Louisiana’s proposed law states:
    “B. No teacher, school employee, or other presenter shall discuss his own
    13 sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through grade
    14 twelve.”

    Taken at face value, this means no teacher — gay, straight, or otherwise… cis, trans, or otherwise — could make mention of their own gender or the gender of any partner they may have. I could not identify myself as a man (that’s my gender identity) or note that I have a girlfriend (to do so would communicate my sexual orientation).

    So let’s stop with this whole “liberals are causing problems thing.” These laws are ridiculous and based on hate. They do not advocate on behalf of children.

    I’m a teacher and a parent. These laws make things worse for children. All children. Full stop.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      You could say you’re male; that’s your sex. You couldn’t talk about your girlfriend, and why would you?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        “…why would you?”

        Because teachers are whole humans and not just automated regurgitators of instruction and one way we build relationships with children that allows us to better educate them is by demonstrating our humanity.

        This statement — which I bet you thought was a rather brilliant comeback — just demonstrates your vast ignorance on how schools and education work. But I’m sure you won’t see that — despite being told as much by someone who has devoted his entire adult life to education — because, well, who ya gonna believe?Report

        • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s a bit snotty, and no I didn’t think it was a brilliant comeback. I was addressing something you’d said earlier on this subject, about teachers sharing their personal lives. That really is an alien experience to me. I think it’s pretty universally acknowledged that, for various reasons, the educational system is getting far worse results than it did when I was younger, so I’m not sure why you’re confident that this approach is worth defending.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            I knew a great deal about my teacher’s live, because they wove anecdotes of their experiences into their lessons, particularly in US history and Civics – though my literature/English teachers did as well. My high school band teacher always told about his gigs – he was a working jazz musician on the side. If your teachers didn’t share their humanity, more’s the pity.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            I am Gen X & I knew which teachers were married and what not all through grade school, etc.Report

            • Chris in reply to Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              I mean, we were taught what Miss, Ms., And Mrs meant, and which ones to use with different teachers.Report

            • Em Carpenter in reply to Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              I recall my 1st grade teacher telling the class she had a secret and we could try to guess. Her hint was that her husband bought her a bouquet of flowers that included “baby’s breath” flowers. Subtle, right?
              Yes, she was knocked up and that was how she told us. (No, it was not accompanied by a discussion on how she got that way.)
              I also knew the marital statuses of all my teachers and whether they had children. That’s not weird to me at all.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Em Carpenter
                Ignored
                says:

                Under the proposed Louisiana law, so much of that conversation would have been illegal.

                Now, that law is proposed and not passed and seems to be even more expansive and vague than the Florida law so we remain in a hypothetical place right now, but if the goal is to outlaw any and all such conversations, our children will suffer for it.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I know a bit about Louisiana politics – they will pass it, Gov. Edwards will veto it, and they will override. If only to make sure Florida doesn’t get one over on them.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            My apologies for the snottiness and potentially having misread your intentions. But I’ve gone on record multiple times on the value of sharing certain aspects of one’s personal life with students (and inviting them to do the same). So I’m getting a little tired of having to repeat that.

            I don’t share every gory detail of my personal life. But my students might talk about PJ Masks and I might weigh into the conversation and sometimes they’re like, “WOH YOU KNOW ABOUT CATBOY?!” and I’m like, “Yea, I watch that show all the time with my son,” and off we go and that is super valuable on a whole host of levels.

            And I fail to see what is accomplished by restricting teachers from those sorts of interactions which, again, a bill like the Louisiana one would invariably do. Because, yea, I could talk about my sons safely but if they do what every single kid I’ve ever spoken to about my sons do, they’ll eventually ask if they have a mom and where she is and etc, etc, etc. So unless I want to put a hard stop on the subject any time it veers anywhere close to me discussing my “sexual orientation” I would have to avoid pretty much any discussion of my personal life.

            Like, do you know how routine it is to ask kids about their home life? And how just weird it would be to do that and then refuse to answer the same question turned back to us? And how that would impact the trust we work so hard to build with our students?

            It’s okay if you don’t know all of that but here I am telling it to you so I really hope you put some stock in that. Otherwise, I circle back to my initial reaction…Report

  24. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “A whole lot of people, even those who aren’t extreme right-wing whackos, are starting to find these doings alarming.”

    Yes, some people may be alarmed because I read “Rainbow Boy” to my 4-year-olds.

    What about all of us who are alarmed that schools will present a deliberately false representation of reality to children, one that denies the existence of students’ family members, friends, loved ones, or the students themselves.

    You give so many words to the supposed legitimate concerns from the right about “indoctrination” and seem to care little about concerns from, well, anyone else.

    I’m a parent. I’m concerned. Does that matter?Report

    • Philip H in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      I really think a big piece of the problem for rightward folks is they are unwilling to grapple with all the ways cis-het conservative white “Christian” seeks to indoctrinate kids to preserve the status quo ante. Because if they did, then they’d have to grapple with their roles in that, and since its what they define as “normal” they don’t want to do that. Us multi-culturalists, multi-genderists are just too threatening.

      And no, your concerns don’t matter because you don’t want to preserve the “system” as it is. Like me.Report

  25. Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s my response to this post. I’m gonna ignore the whole Galileo thing, and the ways the Calculus analogy falls apart (since I and others have already poked at those elsewhere), and get right to my core issue (something I and others have touched on):

    What about the other parents who have kids in those classrooms? The ones who don’t have concerns, not because they aren’t paying attention, but because they think it’s perfectly fine for teachers to be having those discussions? Why is that whole demographic kicked to the curb because they welcome a more progressive tack in the classroom*?

    And this is not me necessarily agreeing that the progressive aligned families are right (I’m with InMD that there is enough bad DEI out there that we should probably keep external DEI materials away from schools unless they’ve gone through a solid district and parental review), but we can’t just pretend that those voices can be ignored. But that is what a lot of these laws do. Either by chilling educators, or by encouraging activist parents to engage the courts immediately (rather than working through the district bureaucracy).

    It’s putting into law a heckler’s veto, which is something we should all be very suspect about.

    I also still stand by my earlier comment that schools have been indoctrinating our children from the word go. You can’t complain about the indoctrination aspect just because it’s shifted from what you approve to something you don’t like. I had to put up with an awful lot of thinly veiled Christian indoctrination in public school, even though I had decided early in life that organized religion was a load of hot BS.

    *This is one reason I support school choice. If you don’t like what the public schools are offering, go find a charter school.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      I might be missing the point here, but can’t those parents talk to their kids about it?Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Same question back to you.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          I am missing something.

          I don’t want to put words into your mouth. Could you explain what you mean?Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Oscar is talking about legislations passing laws that assault the rights of the other parents, not about individual conversations. He’s asking why those folks – who may be a plurality if not a majority in a lot of these districts, are having their viewpoints legislated against.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              I’d rather wait for Oscar to answer this.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                And this is not me necessarily agreeing that the progressive aligned families are right (I’m with InMD that there is enough bad DEI out there that we should probably keep external DEI materials away from schools unless they’ve gone through a solid district and parental review), but we can’t just pretend that those voices can be ignored. But that is what a lot of these laws do. Either by chilling educators, or by encouraging activist parents to engage the courts immediately (rather than working through the district bureaucracy).

                It’s putting into law a heckler’s veto, which is something we should all be very suspect about.

                What’s unclear about that?Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            If I’ve been reading your posts correctly, your worry is that kids are being influenced about discussions of gender before they are old enough to really grasp the concept, and thus may feel pressure to declare an identity they don’t really have.

            Do I have that right?

            If that is the case (or close enough for arguments sake), why can’t those parents talk to their kids about what was discussed in class?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
              Ignored
              says:

              I am assuming that some things are inappropriate for certain age groups. I think we can agree on that. We can also recognize that individual parents will have different assessments of what those things are at what age. It’s also easier for a parent to explain something than for a parent to unexplain something. So the inclination should be, on close calls, to let a parent decide when he wants to raise something on his own. I’m not talking about extremes, and I’m not talking about lengthy topics. If one parent doesn’t believe in math, it’d be ridiculous to expect all the other parents to teach it to their kids outside of class.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, so we get back to one of my earlier questions, what, EXACTLY, was discussed by a teacher to students in FL (since that is a point of contention) that did not conform to the state guidelines as to what is or is not age appropriate? What actions did the parents take? What did the school district do? What is the point where things fell apart such that a law became necessary?

                All of this legislative action, in FL, TX, AL, etc., it all smacks of laws looking for problems to solve that don’t really exist. It’s another round of “There ought to be a law / It’s for the Children / Something must be done”, which is the genesis of just so much bad / useless laws. These are supposed to be conservatives, and yet they are adding on more laws to the books because it happens to please their base, rather than solving real, systemic issues.

                So what is the systemic issue at play here? Not something that a handful of parents across a handful of schools in FL are upset about, but the systemic problem?

                And we can’t look at the case InMD has talked about, because they are currently working through the system as designed, talking to the district, bringing a lawsuit, etc.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Both sides are saying “it’s for the children”. That doesn’t strike me as a disqualifying statement on either side. Education is going to be about children.

                I also don’t see how this is unnecessary law, at least not automatically. This isn’t about regulating private sector behaviour; this is conduct within a government building. I don’t know if the new regs are different or more complex than the old ones, and I don’t know the specifics of each ruling. The changes in Texas are nothing like the changes in Florida, for example.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                If you can’t clearly, immediately, see the utility, then it’s not needed.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I like this comment. I just don’t live in Florida. I don’t have kids going to school there. And unless it was Lord of the Flies down there, there must have been a policy / policies already. So I can’t say clearly, immediately, that any particular policy change is better or worse.

                This article is a response to an article about the use of a word in the debate about a particular law. We’re mostly talking about the issue addressed by that law, but we’re talking about a lot of other things too. My guess is that none of us have set foot in an elementary school in Florida in the past couple of years. This is still a conversation worth having, though.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “Both sides are saying “it’s for the children”. That doesn’t strike me as a disqualifying statement on either side. Education is going to be about children.”

                Yes, but I have only seen one side articulate how the law impacts children and it has been people (including myself) articulating specific ways it harms children.

                Who has articulated how this law, from a big picture standpoint, protects children?

                You’ll note that much of the conversation surrounding it is about parental rights, which explicitly is not about the children.

                And I don’t want a list of offenses — real or hypothetical — as a justification because pointing out bad actions does not justify as good any particular law, especially one as far reaching as these.

                Why is it harmful to children if matters of gender identity or sexual orientation are discussed in grades K-3? What research exists to show the harm done?Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the better question is what evidence exists to support it. My guess is not much either way because until very recently nobody ever did it. Even now it’s hard to know exactly what is happening at scale. If there is evidence to support it I would expect a transparent, deliberative process to make the case.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Talking past each other again here folks.

                There is a distinct, marked difference between teachers being able to talk to young kids about how the cis-het nuclear family is not the only way a family can be constructed, and teachers playing pop-psychologist with older kids who are experiencing a disconnect between their sex and their perceptions of their gender.Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m all for breaking it down into sub-issues and open to the possibility that different conclusions would be appropriate in different scenarios.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, to Oscar’s point, support *what* exactly?

                I’m talking specifically about this law. What does this law do to protect kids that a far less restrictive law could not accomplish?Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                My belief is that the fundamental flaw in the FL law is that it is overbroad and provides for a private right of action.

                My point is that I think the burden of proof for introducing to quote you, ‘matters of gender identity or sexual orientation’ at the k-3 level is on the proponents of doing so. I mean let’s take it to something way less loaded, like a new, unproven method of teaching basic math. I would expect that to be subject to a significant degree of study, debate, case making, and oversight before we just run a live experiment in a classroom. Now, I don’t think we need a statute structured like the FL law to prevent that from happening but I’m also comfortable saying it shouldn’t happen willy nilly or under the radar and I’m fine with a law or regulation providing that it can’t.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I can point to evidence that shows kids benefit from seeing themselves represented in their classrooms.

                So, that would seem to support reading Todd Parr’s “The Family Book” which mentions that some families have two moms or two dads.

                But, if I taught in Florida, I wouldn’t even risk something so banal as that because I wouldn’t want to get sued.

                “Now, I don’t think we need a statute structured like the FL law to prevent that from happening but I’m also comfortable saying it shouldn’t happen willy nilly or under the radar and I’m fine with a law or regulation providing that it can’t.”

                I was just thinking this same thing… I’m not calling for no rules. I’m calling for better rules. When I have more time, I’m going to compile a long list of things that might occur in an early childhood or early elementary classroom — all of which would be outlawed or at least close enough as to be avoidable to safe one’s self from a lawsuit by these laws — and see where folks would want the line drawn.

                I don’t think the argument is between “everything goes” and “nothing goes” but instead is “Where should the line be drawn?” with one side saying, “It should be drawn way way way way WAY over here.”Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Let’s take a hypothetical.

                Billy is in 2nd grade. Billy is having trouble focusing on Math one day, the teacher notices, and asks Billy what is wrong. Billy says last night, his older sister told his parents that she’s really his older brother, and there was a huge fight and his sister, no brother, got kicked out, and his parents just told him to go to his room and won’t talk to him about it.

                Do we really expect the teacher to just sigh, tell Billy she’s not allowed to talk to him about that, and that he should get back to working on his number line?Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Is the teacher required to tell Billy’s parents about it if asked, or at parent the teacher conference when the matter of Billy’s D in math comes up?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Pat may know better but I can’t think of a scenario where I’d lie to a parent though I’d have to double-check the specs of mandated reporter confidentiality, which I do not think this rises to.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                For me discretion is contingent on transparency, and the latter goes a long way towards making room for the former. As always the insight you bring on this is both helpful and appreciated.

                Hopefully next week something really nuts will happen so we can debate a different topic. I feel like we have beaten this one to death, at least for the time being.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                “Controlling the narrative” is something I’ve had stressed to me for a while. I always err on the side of over-communicating and staying out in front of things.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Contrast the way these laws are getting enacted with how responsible legislatures, trying to solve a real, actually existing problem, go about their business. They consult experts. They hold hearings. They make a record of the existence of a problem. They draft laws that can be understood, so people will know how to comply with them and not just STFU about anything even tangentially related to whatever the law is supposed to prevent.Report

              • Philip H in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Based on the Florida Man experience (!) I think a lot of these are intentionally badly crafted, so that they will be sued over them. They politicians seem to think tat after workign 40 years to pack out the federal judiciary they should let the judiciary use these laws to take down the parts of the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement they feel threatened by.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                A long march through the institutions might finally pay off.

                Ironic.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                In many many waysReport

    • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      I think you’re right about the long term outcome i.e. renewed pushes for school choice, the difference is I see that as a major loss. This is part of what animates me about this as an issue, in addition to my own concerns as a parent.

      Based on how school choice has played out in some places it’s easy for me to imagine a situation where the smarter kids, and kids from families with means, all just evacuate (the covid crap of course hasn’t helped). The poorer or less gifted are then left behind in places where counseling prepubescent children on gender/sex is required, but algebra is prohibited before high school for reasons of equity. That would be a catastrophe, as will a bunch of hamfisted and likely futile attempts by conservatives to try and turn back the cultural clocks. It’s pathetic that it’s so hard to find anyone willing to champion a more sane approach.Report

      • Philip H in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Based on how school choice has played out in some places it’s easy for me to imagine a situation where the smarter kids, and kids from families with means, all just evacuate (the covid crap of course hasn’t helped).

        Back in the 1980’s, in the South, we called that White Flight.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Very true, but that’s a potential outcome when people play politics with culture war crap.

        At the end of the day, what gets taught and talked about in public schools is not, in general, hidden from the public. There may be cases of a teacher/school/district engaging in shenanigans that would give parents pause, but there is an established process to handle that, one that typically involves engaging the bureaucracy of the school/district, and then the courts if the bureaucracy fails to respond. It requires parents to get involved in the local politics, which is something most parents don’t have the time or desire to do.

        What I don’t want is for a tiny minority of activist parents, the ones who enjoy getting involved in the politics, right or left, to be able to dictate to the school what they want, everyone else be damned. A sane approach would require a parent with concerns to engage other parents, gather support with a petition, work the local PTA/PTSA, and make themselves heard. Jumping straight to a judge is granting a minority an awful lot of power.Report

  26. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Vaguely related from Freddie:

    Let me lay out two worldviews that are fervently believed by large groups of people who share the same party. Here’s worldview A:

    Left-wing Democrats have pushed the party to the edge of an electoral cliff. They have hijacked the party’s debates and make extravagant policy demands, demands that cut against the preferences of huge swaths of the electorate. They refuse to compromise or meet the voters where they are. They engage in purity politics and seem to have no interest in the kind of horse-trading that is required to get what you want in Washington. Their inflammatory rhetoric and extremist ideas hamper the efforts of candidates in red and purple states, and slogans like “defund the police” are an albatross hanging around the neck of the party that will surely bring doom in November.

    And here’s worldview B:

    Centrist Democrats have a stranglehold on the party. They’re stodgy, uncompromising, and risk-averse. The party bends over backward to suit their needs, and yet they still constantly complain about a leftist takeover. Voters demand a bold agenda, but centrists are so afraid of risk and change that the Democrats effectively stand for nothing. The left brings a tremendous amount of energy and attention to the party and dominates among the youth, yet the party never delivers policy progress in return. By ignoring the left and the passionate young people within it in favor of obstructionist centrists, the Democrats have become a directionless, unprincipled party that can’t express to the American people what they stand for.

    As you might have guessed, the gimmick here is that I think both perspectives are more or less correct.

    He goes on for a while.Report

    • Chris in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The only thing I’d quibble with is the “donor class” observation. There may be an increasing number of donors who are moving their dollars to the left, but overwhelmingly, centrist Dems and the national and state-level organizations behind them have the money, and they frequently throw it behind more centrist candidates in primaries even when those candidates have little chance of winning (often, therefore, harming the more progressive candidates’ general election candidacy by limiting the number of people who preferred the centrist candidate but will vote for the more progressive one against a Republican. Think wine cellar fundraisers.

      That said, unlike Freddie’s usual thing, this is pretty much the established wisdom: social media, and to some extent, mainstream media, is more progressive than the party, but is not pulling the party left even as it heavily influences the perception of how far left the party is (though the perception on the right that it is full of communists remains silly).

      An interesting question, then, is why right wing media has been so successful at pulling the Republican Party to the right? Is it because the right wing media is much more established? Because it’s built a sort of insular media ecosystem that more liberal/progressive media has not? Because, as I’ve often see said, the Republican Party’s base has always been its right wing, creating rightward gravity while the Democrats’ base remains firmly in the center, thereby outpulling any leftward gravity?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Honestly? I think it has to do with the whole “stupid party” thing and the Democrats has become the party of the Managerial Class.

        People who are good at paperwork, who are good at navigating phone trees and websites, people who are good at navigating complexity… hey. The Democrats are the party for you!

        The stupid? Well, the Republicans are the Stupid Party. And there are more and more Stupid people every day.

        Add to that that Democrats have found that navigating complexity gives status? Katy bar the door.Report