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Lesbian teacher Pam Strong teaches a classroom of elementary students at Ellengale Public School on Day of Pink in 2012.

(LifeSiteNews) – Eight of the largest school districts in the nation, representing two and a half million students, require parents to consent for a child to receive over-the-counter medications such as aspirin but not for staff to indulge a student’s gender dysphoria, according to a new report.

This week, the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI), a nonprofit “focused on providing thoughtful, conservative solutions to challenges in the areas of education, workforce, labor, and employment policy,” released a report authored by former U.S. Department of Education press secretary Angela Morabito, which finds that “[a]t least three million K–12 students in 25 districts are given free rein to choose their gender identity at school by changing the name and pronouns used by school employees without parental consent, even though their schools require parental permission to dispense over-the-counter medication to those same children.”

Out of the school districts with the 20 largest enrollment numbers in the United States, eight “have readily available policies or guidelines that direct school employees to address a child by the child’s preferred name and pronouns without obtaining permission from the child’s parents and that prohibit their employees from dispensing over-the-counter medication to students without parental consent,” the report finds.

These policies, found in the New York City Department of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and the School District of Philadelphia; “imply that children who are not yet mature enough to decide when they need an aspirin are mature enough to decide whether to go through the school day as male, female, or something else entirely,” the report contends.

The same double-standard was also found in “an additional 13 districts, located in communities of varying sizes,” representing roughly half a million students: Boston Public Schools, Fresno Unified School District, Kansas City (Kansas) Public Schools, Kansas City (Missouri) Public Schools, Lawrence Township Public Schools, Long Beach Unified School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Sacramento City United School District, San Diego Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Seattle Public Schools, Spokane Public Schools, and Upper Moreland School District.

“These districts treat medical concerns as needs children bring with them from home to school,” Morabito argues. “Issues of sex and gender identity, conversely, are treated as needs that arise in school that may or may not be brought home to the parents. These issues may very well develop at school, especially if a teacher delivers age-inappropriate lessons about gender and cause children to doubt their own self-image. This does not mean that gender identity is within the school’s purview to manage. To the contrary, it shows a school overstepping its role and confusing children rather than protecting them.”

Morabito notes that, despite much of Europe veering further to the left than America on many issues, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service acknowledges that “early social transition […] may have significant effects on the child or young person in terms of their psychological functioning,” a warning backed by abundant social science research and anecdotal testimony.

Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

On top of those issues, experts outside the medical establishment further warn that surgically or chemically reinforcing gender confusion imposes irreversible harm on children such as infertility, impairment of adult sexual function, and reduced life expectancy, as well as the psychological toll of being “locked into” physical alterations regardless of whether they change their minds when they mature, as attested to by many individuals who “detransitioned” back to their true sex.

The issue is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.

Yet the federal government under the Biden administration fully supports the surgical, chemical, social, and psychological transitioning of minors, calling it a “best practice” and “supportive form of health care.”

“Parents thought they could take for granted that schools would respect their rights,” Morabito told the Daily Caller, which reached out to but did not receive replies from several of the districts implicated in the report. “After all, if a tummy ache merits a phone call home, then surely, so does a child’s rejection of his or her own body. But this is what happens without transparency in education: Ideologies take over, parents get shut out, mental health issues spike, and student achievement falls.”