Writer feels GSA column was flawed

Gender identity develops over time as a developmental process: writer

Dear Editor,

I remain deeply perplexed and disturbed by Amelia Naismith’s take on the GSA privacy debate (Sept. 21 issue).

Gender and sexuality issues affect the very essence of a person. Ms. Naismith asserts that a student with a gender or sexuality challenge should be isolated from the parents and that a school peer group (GSA) is of more help and support to them than their own family and the professional community. These challenges are highly complex, involving mental, emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual components that cannot be put in a nice tidy little box and dealt with simply by acceptance or joining a peer support group.

To illustrate, allow me to compare Gender Identity Disorder to Anorexia Nervosa, a complex and potentially life threatening psychological disorder. It requires clinical evaluations from the fields of medicine, psychiatry, and psychology. These spheres may indeed refer an individual afflicted with anorexia to a peer support group after the family has accessed professional resources, not in replacement of them. Can you imagine leaving an issue like anorexia to a peer support group instead of the care of the family and professional community? That would be absurd. So is legally removing the potential involvement of normal loving and caring parents, which is what Minister Eggen plans to accomplish this fall. Portraying GSA’s as an appropriate front line tool in dealing with gender and sexuality issues is naïve.

Ms. Naismith claims that telling parents about their child’s involvement in a GSA violates their human rights. She also states that we should trust students to make their own choices and respect their wishes. Of course I can agree with respecting students, and I can also agree on some levels with trusting children to make their own choices. Children should make more independent choices as they age, starting with things like color of socks, style of back pack, ballet or tap, Math 20-1 or 20-2, etc. But this? To isolate a minor struggling with such issues from their family is dysfunctional and misguided at best, and reeks of social engineering at worst.

Gender identity develops over time as a developmental process, and is affected not only by biological sex and associated hormones, but also by cultural and family influences, perceptions, and positive and negative relationships from infanthood on. Pair this with: typical adolescent angst, the decline of stable two parent families (statistically more likely to produce positive outcomes in the physical, economic, educational, emotional, and social well-being of children), and the confusing and often pornographic sexual images bombarding kids from many sources, including recently from an Alberta Education website (an appalling scandal in itself, worthy of a whole other letter). Is it any wonder some youth face challenges of this nature? Add to this the latest findings in neuroscience, which show that the human brain does not fully develop its long term reasoning abilities until well into the 20’s.

I take great exception to the course of action endorsed by our government and Ms. Naismith. I do believe this: both I and those in favour of the legislation proposed by Minister Eggen truly want to help our children and work toward safe and accepting environments in schools. However, instead of falling into the political ideological traps we all tend toward, we must instead do the hard and humbling work to have difficult conversations, and look objectively and truthfully at the likely outcomes as we move forward. I invite you to consider what Parents for Choice in Education http://www.parentchoice.ca is advocating in this regard.

Marcia Schultz

RR2, Wetaskiwin

Just Posted

Pigeon Lake resident named Miss Central Alberta

Pageant winner attributes volunteer spirit to grandmother

Rural crime epidemic a focus for UCP

Drayton-Devon MLA Mark Smith says UCP trying to get NDP’s attention

Stoics, Schopenhauer and the crime epidemic

Hold the criminals responsible; they chose their path

City council strays from liquor retail restrictions for cannabis industry

Wetaskiwin looking to avoid cannabis black market

Eliminating the free dump week in Wetaskiwin not a viable solution

Writer says decision means city can’t attain 90 per cent diversion

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Ice fisherman hooks massive catch from Sylvan Lake

Ron Rivard caught the 43 inch jackfish this morning

Break and enter to Ponoka farm home while resident was inside

Caucasian suspects quickly entered the home and stole several items Tuesday afternoon

10-15 cm expected for parts of Central/Northern Alberta

Lacombe and south can expect around 2-7 cm of snow today and into tonight

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Most Read