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North Dakota Governor Doug BurgumStephen Yang/Getty Images

BISMARCK (LifeSiteNews) – North Dakota’s liberal Republican Doug Burgum vetoed legislation Thursday that would have forbade teachers from referring to students by factually-inaccurate gender pronouns without parental consent, thereby preserving public educators’ ability to reinforce gender dysphoria in young people.

The Associated Press reports that the bill was meant to ensure that parents were aware and approved of any school actions to recognize their child as “transgender.” It also protected government employees from being forced to use coworker’s “preferred pronouns.”

“Five years ago, this whole pronoun thing wasn’t a thing,” argued Republican state Rep. SuAnn Olson. “It puts teachers in the very difficult position” of navigating the disconnect between what students actually are and how they want to be recognized.

The bill would let teachers “rest with relief that they only need to remember one name and set of historically recognized biological pronouns,” agreed Republican state Rep. Lori VanWinkle, of Minot, who added that it would also reduce the “social distractions” in education.

However, in his veto message, Burgum claimed that state law was already sufficient to protect teachers from being forced to use pronouns that conflict with their beliefs. “The teaching profession is challenging enough without the heavy hand of state government forcing teachers to take on the role of pronoun police,” he said. “Parents, teachers and administrators using compassion, empathy and common sense can address individual and infrequent situations that may arise.”

On Monday, Republicans attempted to override Burgum’s veto. But while the Senate voted to override, the House came up short, PBS reports.

Evidence indicates that “affirming” a child’s confusion about his or her gender carries severe harms, especially when that struggle is hidden from parents.

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.

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.

Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a different “gender identity” before embracing their true sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject.

In February, the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies found that eight of the largest school districts in the nation, representing two and a half million students, require parental consent to give students over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, but not for staff to recognize children as transgendered.