Children’s Hospital Coached Local School District On ‘Affirming’ Trans Students

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital trained local public school employees on how to work with transgender students and navigate parent concerns, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Parents Defending Education.

The hospital provided trainings to San Francisco Unified School District social workers over a four-year span that encouraged the school staff to be affirming of students’ gender identities, according to the documents obtained by the Washington Examiner. The sessions were reportedly designed by the hospital’s Child and Adolescent Gender Center (CAGC).

During a 2018 session, the hospital staff engaged the social workers in a variety of scenarios about working with transgender students. One case study asked social workers how they would respond to an eighth-grade student who claimed she “need[s] testosterone or [she] will die.”

The correct answer was to influence the child’s mother to explore “medical options” by telling her about the daughter’s comments about depression and testosterone.

In 2019, the hospital training claimed that it was an “assumption” to believe there are only two genders and that the goal of treating transgender children should be to limit “distress/dysphoria” through medical options. The goal of the training was to “increase awareness and understanding of gender identity, gender expression and gender wellness” and “increase awareness of Gender Affirmative Care Model with special attention to trauma, adolescent development and systems approaches,” the Examiner reported.

The documents also reportedly uncovered a 2020 interaction between the school district and the hospital during which a hospital staff member asked how counselors could “see kids without parental consent for mental health treatment.”

The CAGC provides patients with medical and psychological care as well as legal support, according to its website. The clinic accepts new patients as young as 3 years old and as old as 17. (RELATED: School Board Held Closed-Door Presentation On How To Hide Kids’ Gender Transitions From Their Parents)

“Prior to the onset of puberty, our care focuses strictly on social and emotional development and we don’t offer gender-affirming medical treatments,” the website clarifies. “Once a patient reaches puberty, gender-affirming medical treatments may be considered following a thorough mental health assessment by a gender specialist. All children and youths receiving care at the CAGC may continue to do so through the age of 25.”

The clinic does provide puberty blockers to adolescent patients, according to its website, and claims that it can “can safely suppress pubertal changes.”

“This fully reversible treatment gives young people time to achieve greater awareness of their gender identity without going through irreversible physical changes that may not align with their gender identity,” the website reads.

The claim that puberty blockers are fully reversible, however, has been debated in the science field.

The hospital, the San Francisco Unified School District and Parents Defending Education did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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