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July 11, 2019 (Family Research Council) — In New York City public schools, students can choose their classes, their sports, and their genders! Starting this fall, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is making the Big Apple an even bigger news story by radically changing the city's policy on registered names, dress codes, bathrooms, locker rooms, and athletics. He says this is his way of celebrating Pride month. But “proud” is the last word most parents would use to describe the news.

In this new Wild West of gender identity, Carranza is giving the green light to everything from unofficial name changes to unisex school uniforms. “Schools are safe havens for students to develop their passions and discover their true identities, and these new guidelines celebrate and affirm all students,” Carranza insisted in a statement. For the first time, kids in the 2019–2020 school year will be able to “self-report names and genders” when enrolling in the city's public schools.

“With this updated policy, which allows students to change their name and gender on school records without legal documentation, we are signaling our support for all students regardless of gender identity,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson cheered. Once the families submit their “name and gender change request form,” every piece of school-related data — including report cards, diplomas, and even official enrollment numbers — will reflect this non-reality. Just imagine the nightmare this will be for colleges, as admissions officers try to reconcile transcripts with different names and sexes.

As if that weren't enough, “school dress codes must be… free of gender stereotypes and must be written, enforced, and applied equally to all students regardless of gender.” The goal, officials say, is to help “ease the trauma that can be unintentionally inflicted on girls, trans, and gender-nonconforming youth, particularly youth of color, by the uneven application and enforcement of dress codes.”

Divided sex ed into boys' and girls' classes also will be a thing of the past, since the city thinks “puberty education classes must be inclusive and affirming to all genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations.” And, as a part of everything, teachers and students will be expected to use language and pronouns that ignore biological realities. When it comes to sports, the College Fix points out, “generally” students must be permitted to compete “with the gender identity they assert at school.” All in all, it adds up to one of the most shocking roll-outs of transgender ideology in any school district nationwide.

Like a lot of parents, New York City's were probably unprepared for changes this extreme, this fast. In Arlington, Virginia, moms and dads learned the hard way how quickly activists can work — and Kristen Allen is hoping other communities are prepared when the threat shows up on their doorstep. “There is no roadmap for grassroots groups to follow,” she warns in a timely piece for the Daily Signal. But there are five lessons she wants every family to know as they brace themselves for impact: 1. Courage is contagious; 2. Put together a diverse coalition; 3. The gatekeepers (like the NEA, APA, AAP, and others) have failed parents; 4. Spread the truth about gender-affirming therapy; and 5. There are no opt-outs for kids.

In a culture that's changing faster than most people can keep up, “Concerned parents are, to borrow from the musical Hamilton, 'out-gunned, out-manned, out-numbered, out-planned,'” Allen explains. “If you already are stretched in terms of time and attention, the situation can feel too big, too scary, and too inevitable.” But, she warns, “Only parents can demand accountability from school systems and set boundaries around their children. We can't walk away.”

Learn how you can get involved by reading FRC's pamphlet, “A Parent's Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education.”

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.