California Mother Recounts Journey Helping Daughter While School Kept Transgender Status Secret

California Mother Recounts Journey Helping Daughter While School Kept Transgender Status Secret

Student backpacks hang on the backs of chairs in a classroom on June 24, 2022. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

8/22/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California schools are hiding students’ transgender status from parents, according to attorney and parent advocate Erin Friday, who said she had experienced such treatment firsthand.
In a recent interview on EpochTV’s California Insider, Ms. Friday shared her adolescent daughter’s journey with gender confusion.
Ms. Friday said her daughter was introduced to LGBT gender ideology through her school’s sex education lesson in the seventh grade.
“[After that lesson] she and all of her friends picked [an identity] on the LGBT label. None of them picked “straight” because that was boring,” she said.
Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, loneliness and struggles with puberty drove her daughter to spend more time online.
“She started to get indoctrinated into this belief system that all your stress, all your depression, all your anxiety, will disappear if you just transition,” Ms. Friday said.
She said she discovered her daughter was transgender in ninth grade during the pandemic, when the school changed her name and pronouns on her email and assignments.
“I was angry. How dare they change my daughter’s name. How dare they not involve me,” she said. “They said ‘We need to be a safe space for her.’ Safe from whom? Me? She’s living in my house, right down the hall. She didn’t step foot in the school [because of the pandemic]. They didn’t know anything about her.”
Ms. Friday said she went out of state to find a therapist who would help get to the root of her child’s identity struggles. After a little over a year, her daughter stopped identifying as transgender, she said.
“It was so painful to watch my daughter die by a thousand cuts with everyone cheering her on,” Ms. Friday said. “Once these kids take on a gender identity, their mental health actually plummets because they’re told everything is wrong with them and their body.”
Ms. Friday said her daughter’s story is just one of many and comes as a result of a push by the LGBT community over the last five years to get gender ideology into schools.
Erin Friday checks her notes on the steps of the California State Capital in Sacramento, Calif., on March 10, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Erin Friday checks her notes on the steps of the California State Capital in Sacramento, Calif., on March 10, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Nowadays, children are being asked their pronouns and their preferred name almost daily, she said.
“This opens up a door to these kids getting confused gender-wise,” she said. “It starts really at the school level.”
When a child does tell their school they want to go by a different name or gender, schools tell teachers they must keep their child’s desires a secret from parents, in accordance with California Education Department guidance that states “disclosing that a student is transgender without the student’s permission may violate California’s antidiscrimination law by increasing the student’s vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy.”
However, Ms. Friday argued that the education department’s guidance is not law.
“What the schools are being taught by the Department of Education in California is that once a child comes out with a different name or pronoun … that they must keep that a secret from the parents,” Ms. Friday said. “And that’s actually not true, that’s not what the law says, but that’s what teachers are doing because that’s what they’re told the law says to do.”
She also said teachers are being taught that the child could be abused by the family should they come out with a gender identity that doesn’t match their sex.
“We don’t see any evidence of … families kicking their minor children out, especially if they are gender-confused. In fact, the opposite happens,” she said. “The parents love their child a little harder, care for their child a little more, pay more attention.”
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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