Last night, I watched as a handful of individuals spoke before the LCPS School Board to spread misinformation about transgender students. Among them, my own 1st and 2nd graders’ PE teacher.

I was shocked. My children’s teacher is so transphobic he would publicly pronounce he would not affirm a child. Failing to affirm a child, which includes refusing to call them by the name or pronouns they use, is child abuse. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, morals, and the freedom of speech and religion. But discrimination does not fall into any of those categories.

His statement is that he will — against the wishes of the parents, child, school policies, and the child’s physicians — ensure a child is forced to hear his religious beliefs on whether that child’s inner most sense of gender identity is valid. This is the government getting between a parent and their child. This is an individual abusing their position of authority over a student to override that student’s autonomy and emotionally abuse them about their gender identity. Whether it has happened already or not is irrelevant.

He is publicly stating he intends to do it. If this were physical or sexual abuse, it would not even be up for questioning. If this were regarding a student’s race, religion, or disability, it would not even be up for question. It is emotional abuse against a transgender student by a teacher entrusted to protect and care for them.

Make no mistake, the research is clear. Failing to affirm a child can be detrimental to their mental health and lead to a rise in suicidal idealization, depression, and anxiety. It can turn a classroom from a safe place into one in which a child is afraid to participate or learn. I would hope that the school’s administration chooses to address this issue and ensure that if this teacher cannot abide by the school’s policies and principles, that this teacher seek employment elsewhere. I am not asking for him or anyone to be fired.

I am asking the school to create a dialogue, be transparent with parents, and ensure that this teacher intends to comply with the school’s policies regarding affirming care for transgender students. As a transgender parent, advocate, and ally to the LGBTQ+ community in Loudoun County, I will happily volunteer my time to help coordinate a dialogue, provide verifiable medical information, and assist in any way.

Cris Candice Tuck

Leesburg

(6) comments

dbressette

I agree with your post. This teacher claims to love all of his students, but he is doing the exact opposite to any transgender students he teaches in the future. I really hope he takes some time to develop empathy. He is also not required to teach at a public school. He could probably find employment at a private school.

jke

What research and what quack doctor except one who wants to drain the government bank accounts would support nonsense like this. He, she no in between. Jack and Jill, Romeo and Juliet, Ike and Mimi and Ben-Hur.

dbressette

Do you just wait around on these message boards to attack people?

jke

If Tanner is in my district and he runs for office I would vote for him, sanity.

jke

Affirmation is abuse!

jke

A whole family of nuts, no wonder!

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