Of tools and their toolkit

Politically correct opinion has imposed a stifling new orthodoxy on thinking about the phenomenon of gender confusion with astonishing rapidity. Reflecting the new orthodoxy, the Minnesota Department of Education advisory council has just approved a new “toolkit” for “Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.” The “toolkit” is to be disseminated to all public schools in Minnesota.

The DoE has posted the “toolkit” online. The Star Tribune reported the approval of the advisory council here.

At the Center of the American Experiment site, Catrin Thorman notes:

Schools won’t be “forced” to implement these “best practices” to address gender identity, but the language used in the toolkit puts pressure on schools to do so.

The toolkit informs schools they “need to ensure” students can access facilities consistent with their gender identity so they do not feel “stigmatized.” The toolkit recommends segregating students who are uncomfortable about sharing facilities with someone of the opposite biological sex as long as the segregation does not stigmatize a transgender or gender nonconforming student. Schools are also told they should refer to students by the names and pronouns of students’ choosing or risk violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). According to Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, using pronouns other than what students want—or referring to them in ways they don’t identify with—is a form of harassment.

It is of course difficult to understand opposition to the new orthodoxy from the Star Tribune article. There is no hint of the profound harm now done in the name of the new orthodoxy. Opposition is seen as though through a glass darkly.

Center of American Experiment senior fellow Katherine Kersten has made herself an indispensable resource on the subject. Kathy looks at the harm being done in the name of the new orthodoxy in the Weekly Standard article “Experimenting on the young.” Kathy focuses on the Minnesota “toolkit” in the St. Paul Pioneer Press column “Put children’s safety first, not ideology.” Kathy writes:

Here’s a vital fact you won’t find in MDE’s toolkit: The great majority of children with “gender dysphoria” — who are distressed about their biological sex — outgrow this condition after passing through normal puberty, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That’s why the traditional treatment has been “watchful waiting” and family therapy to address the psycho-social issues that may contribute to this condition.

Kathy’s work is a “toolkit” of its own for those of us trying to understand what is going on here.

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