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A pair of congressional Republicans sent Education Secretary Miguel Cardona a letter following reports that a 12-year-old Florida girl attempted suicide on campus after talks with her school about transitioning her gender.
Republican lawmakers Rep. Virginia Foxx and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina sent a letter to Cardona on Thursday regarding the Clay County, Florida, student’s suicide attempt after speaking with her school about becoming a boy.
“According to the girl’s father, the school had been in conversations with the girl about a gender transition, had begun calling her a boy, and had assigned her a new name,” Foxx and Burr wrote. “They did all of this without notifying the parents.”
“Parents have every right to access vital information regarding their children – an indisputable fact that the Department of Education doesn’t seem to respect,” Foxx told Fox News Digital in a Thursday statement.
“The disturbing trend of school districts withholding information from parents continues to grow at an alarming pace, and there’s little to no accountability coming from this administration. How many more children will be put in harm’s way if school districts are not being held to account?” she continued.
The lawmakers called on the secretary to “clarify the requirements” of Title IX and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) “with respect” to the school districts’ policies and “proliferating efforts to conceal vital information from parents about minor children.”
“We believe it is critical that the Department quickly clarify those implications,” the lawmakers wrote. “For example, we are concerned the Department may support the actions of Clay County, Florida, to conceal critical information from parents.”
“Not only that, we are concerned the Department may believe such policies are required under Title IX,” they continued, pointing to Obama-era guidance that “stated their belief that Title IX applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The lawmakers called on Cardona to answer several questions, including a query on if “the Department’s interpretation of Title IX require school districts to conceal from a minor child’s parents information about that child’s interest in a gender transition” or if the Department of Education agreed with the Florida school district’s approach.
The father of the elementary school student who attempted suicide at school filed a lawsuit with Child & Parental Rights Campaign against the school, alleging a school counselor had been secretly meeting with his daughter about her questioning her gender.
The counselor had told the father that his daughter did not want to talk about the issue due to her parents being Catholic.
“I took offense because that had nothing to do with it. I mean I don’t even know if she understands our faith,” the father said. “That demonstrated she was ignorant about it. Our faith is one of unconditional love for our children.”