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Congress Removed Protections for Military Kids from the National Defense Authorization Act
Legislators continue to ignore gender ideology at schools serving military dependents.
I took a long break for the holidays, but several articles are in the works—some are even lighter topics than much of what I’ve published through national news outlets this past year. Until I wrap those up, though, here’s another serious piece that The Federalist published yesterday.
Please read and share with military friends and family that need to know.
Thanks for reading!
Why Did Congress Remove Language From The Defense Bill Protecting Military Kids From Trans Insanity?
BY: AMY HAYWOOD
JANUARY 04, 2023
Schools servicing military kids are targeting parents and teachers alike who question administrators’ sexual agendas, and Congress chose to let it continue in the defense bill just signed into law over Christmas.
In November, a concerned mom posted on social media her shock at seeing “artwork” in the entrance of an elementary school that caused her 7-year-old to ask her what “polysexual” meant. The response was swift, but not in the way you might expect: An Army officer at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey called state and local law enforcement and used base security forces to monitor the supposedly unsafe situation she had created in the school district where more than half of the students are children of active-duty military personnel.
Another case from this year: A teacher at an on-base, non-Department of Defense (DOD) school who refused to use a student’s “preferred” name was consequently disciplined by the school. Such forced political ideology isn’t isolated to non-DOD schools that serve military bases; it’s also happening in federally run Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, which are schools expressly created for the children of military personnel.
Thankfully, several members of Congress have stepped up to draw attention to the political indoctrination that has infiltrated DODEA. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., introduced the Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights, which was included in its entirety in the first House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2023.
Unfortunately, the final language agreed upon by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 23 was significantly watered down — and it requires no change in practice or acknowledgment of wrongdoing by DODEA.
Protections Watered Down
The most important parts from Stefanik’s amendment — that clarified that schools must be transparent with parents when it comes to the contents of teacher training, library books, and medical treatment of their children at school — were removed.
For example, Stefanik’s amendment stipulates that DODEA schools should “make all … educator professional development materials, including teachers’ manuals, films, tapes, books or other reading materials, or other supplementary materials used in any survey, analysis, or evaluation, available for inspection by the parents of children attending the school.” It also says that at the start of the school year, DODEA schools must “provide parents a list of reading materials in the school library, including a list of any reading materials that were added to or removed from the list of materials from the prior year.”
Why would such a clarification be necessary? If senators and congressmen had taken the time to listen to and investigate claims brought to their attention in their respective armed services committees by Stefanik, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., they would know about the 2021 Equity and Access Summit, an official DODEA teacher training where presenters admitted to secretly transitioning kids to another so-called gender at DODEA schools.
Had they taken this concern seriously, our legislators would have viewed the training in its entirety, or at least looked at the thorough report provided by the Claremont Institute called “Grooming Future Revolutionaries,” which highlights just a fraction of the extreme material that’s apparently being foisted on some of our nation’s military children behind closed doors.
After hearing presentations from “information specialists” at the training, their curiosity at what’s being offered as literature in DODEA school libraries might have caused them to stumble upon journalist Hannah Grossman’s recent and eye-opening report, “Pentagon’s Schools Infested with Shocking Pornographic Material for Military Kids.”
Another important section that was removed from Stefanik’s Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights is the acknowledgment that schools must “notify parents of any medical examinations or screenings the school may administer to their child and receive written consent from parents for any such examination or screening prior to conducting the examination or screening” and to “notify parents of any medical information that will be collected on their child, receive written parental consent prior to collecting such information, and provide parents an opportunity to inspect such information at the parent’s request.”
Seems pretty common sense, but it’s apparently not common sense at DODEA, where teachers are being taught in official trainings to ask for so-called preferred pronouns and to hide name changes from parents. Essentially, educators have been practicing medicine without a license by diagnosing and treating gender dysphoric children via the “affirmation-only” approach.
Had parents been involved, they might have chosen a different course of treatment for the child they’ve been raising since birth, especially knowing that research shows that due to their high mobility, military children suffer higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to civilian counterparts. Blackburn offered an amendment in committee to address this very issue, but her colleagues voted it down. And when the Senate again had a chance to consider this language, it was stripped out of the House-passed version of the bill.
Denying Trans Ideology Exists, or Agreeing with It
Why was this language dismissed not once — but twice? It’s likely some legislators think educator-facilitated gender-bending isn’t actually happening in schools that cater to military children, though a bit of sophistry may be at play. For instance, in an exchange over the Stefanik amendment in the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., dismissed the need for it and said it would lead to “book bans and intolerance and removing the possibility of open dialogue.” This “fear mongering,” she continued, was “truly reprehensible” and did not belong in the NDAA or “rearing its head” in military dependent schools. Additionally, Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., called concerns about secret so-called gender transitions at dependent schools “cuckoo stuff” and a “tangent.”
Another possible reason medical transparency language was removed, aside from outright denial that it’s needed, is that many in Congress are actually supportive of the notion that a child can be born in the wrong body and would have no problem with school practices that align with this idea.
Just look at changes Democrats have proposed to the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). According to a recent Washington Post article and a Modern Military Association of America post, EFMP, originally created to assist military families with special needs, is now allowing military families to remain near treatment facilities that provide “gender-affirmation” care for children. Yet, this expansion of the program has not been debated or discussed in an open forum by the U.S. Congress. In June 2021, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and 38 of his colleagues introduced the Armed Forces Transgender Dependent Protection Act so that EFMP could be used in this way, but that legislation has not yet become law.
Whether it’s denial or outright support for the policies that are affecting American children in profound ways, we need all of the adults in the room, both left and right, to acknowledge the issues that military parents have brought into the light. As long as the legislators tasked with oversight of military personnel issues continue to ignore the effect gender identity ideology is having on our nation’s military dependents, the number of dependents who have received controversial transgender treatment via the military health system, which research from Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital places in the thousands, will continue to grow.
Originally published by The Federalist on January 4, 2023.