The steady stream of parental notification cases continued last week when yet another school was sued for allegedly secretly transitioning one of its students to the opposite gender.
On January 31st, New York mother Jennifer Vitsaxaki filed a federal complaint against the Skaneateles Central School District, alleging school staff were treating her 12-year-old daughter “Jane” as a boy, referring to her with a new masculine name and new third-person pronouns—all without her parents’ knowledge or consent.
We’ve covered the ongoing controversy over secret social transitioning in public schools here:
This case caught my attention because it features an often-overlooked figure: the “school counselor.” Cases like Vitsaxaki show how critical these staff members can be in socially transitioning a student.
It’s a point my friend @ALegalProcess has been hammering away at for months: “School counselors” or “guidance counselors” don’t just give career advice anymore. They play an active part in the “identify-transition-and-conceal” regime in public schools. And, unlike their licensed private-practice counterparts, they are essentially unregulated and unaccountable to parents.
In Vitsaxaki, it was the school counselor who set Jane down the path toward social transitioning. According to the complaint, she was going through a rough time: the family had recently moved from Greece, and as she struggled to adjust to life in her new country, she also began to struggle with anxiety and depression. She didn’t want to go to school. She met regularly with the school counselor, who repeatedly assured the worried mother there was nothing to worry about.
Nothing, except that in seventh grade, the lawsuit says, Jane asked the school counselor if she could be called by a new name and pronouns, just like she saw others do on YouTube. And just like other kids in her school had done. She saw how, once they asked, the school readily set them up as the opposite sex.
And so it did with Jane, according to the complaint. Shortly after meeting with her, the school counselor emailed staff to inform them they should call Jane by her new masculine name and use the ambiguous “they” and “them” third-person pronouns instead of “she” and “her.”
Jane had already consulted her friends, the school counselor explained in the email. As for her parents? They could wait. “I will follow up with her after break to see what the plan is for discussing this change with their [sic] parents,” he wrote.
Once Jane was signed up, the school kicked into gear, creating a “Gender Support Plan” and “gender support team” to help her transition, according to the complaint. She was frequently pulled out of class and even lunch to attend meetings where she and her peers were encouraged to discuss their new gender identities. These sessions in turn spawned an “LGBTQ club” where Jane and other students were prodded to take their social transitioning next level, changing their dress and grooming habits as well as restroom and locker facilities.
The goal of the meetings was clear: permanent, life-altering medical transitioning. The complaint says Jane was told she could choose to change her biological sex to solve her problems in life. The school gave her contact information for a local gender clinic as well as information on where to obtain “breast binders.” All this “guidance” was provided without her parents’ knowledge or consent.
The school didn’t need it. School policy directed staff to deceive parents by using Jane’s given name and pronouns when talking to her mother, while using her new masculine set at school, the complaint alleges. In fact, to read through the lawsuit, the parents might never have found out if not for one of Jane’s teachers who could no longer keep up the charade. She pressured the principal into calling Jane’s parents, according to the complaint.
And when he did, the lawsuit says he presented her daughter’s decision as a fait accompli: Jane was becoming a boy, and the school was helping her do it.
Taking that decision out of her hands, Vitsaxaki claims, violated her constitutional rights, including her parental rights to direct her daughters’ upbringing, education, and healthcare.
And it all began with the school counselor, who, @ALegal process points out, can treat students without parental consent:
— TheLegalProcess (v2.0 | Post-Election Ed) (@ALegalProcess) February 1, 2024
@ALegalProcess says these school counselors couldn’t lie to parents and treat minors if they were licensed and working across the street from the schoolhouse. But in a school, the only limits on applying their “support services” are district policies, not rules of professional conduct enforced by a licensing board.
And those district policies require them to lie.
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