Ms. Kathleen Cataford – a seventy-seven-year-old school nurse at the Kinsella Magnet School in Hartford – was placed on administrative leave by Superintendent, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, for posting the following on Facebook:
“As a public school nurse, I have an 11yo female student on puberty blockers and a dozen identifying as non-binary, all but two keeping this as a secret from their parents with the help of teachers, SSW [social workers] and school administration.”
First some background. Non-binary is an individual who does not identify himself or herself as male or female. This is a recent social construct. Previously, males were defined as individuals that have XY chromosomes whereas females have XX chromosomes. While there are numerous differences between the sexes, it is a good bet that if you can comfortably urinate while standing, you are a male; and if you cannot, you are a female.
But this social construct does have some scientific basis in that some characteristics that distinguish males from females occur during puberty, when the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are excreted in excess in females while the sex hormone testosterone is excreted in excess in males. As a result, females grow breasts, begin menstruating and become capable of bearing children. Males become capable of impregnating menstruating females while developing characteristics such as increased facial hair, voice-deepening, greater upper body strength etc.
But modern medicine now gives the non-binary individual an option called conversion therapy. Medications can block the occurrence of puberty – chemical castration. Post-pubertal individuals can take sex hormones to enhance the characteristics of the opposite sex. Surgical procedures, can create breasts, remove breasts, remove testicles and rearrange the genitalia. Individuals who exercise these options are called transgender.
Most notable examples of this are former Olympic decathlon winner Bruce Jenner, who now identifies himself as Caitlyn and under health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine whose first name was once Richard. Because of modern medicine, these individuals appear to be women even though they still have XY chromosomes.
Most Americans may view this behavior as somewhat non-conformist, but it is a free country. Furthermore, transgender individuals are nothing new as anyone who is familiar with the Lou Reed’s 1970’s hit song, “Take A Walk on the Wild Side,” knows.
But it is another issue to allow transgender conversions in minors without the consent – or at least the awareness – of parents. Yet this is what is happening at the Kinsella Magnet School in Hartford.
This would never happen in the upper middle class towns. Parents in these towns are educated and wealthy enough to hire lawyers if this occurs. But the Kinsella Magnet School is 86% minority with many children being raised by single mothers. But single mothers and minorities have rights too. Just because they are poor and politically powerless does not give the teachers, social workers and administration – as Ms. Cataford alleges – the right to oversee such an important decision without their input
Conversion therapy in schools has become a hot political issue, with many Republican-dominated states curtailing it or banning it all together. Most notably, Governor DeSantis of Florida effectively put an end to this in Florida with recent legislation prohibiting the discussion of transgenderism from kindergarten to third grade and even latter when considered appropriate. While he has been roundly denounced by the media, public opinion was so strongly in his favor (even Democrats agreed 52% to 36%) that when the Disney CEO objected, not only did DeSantis tell him to pound sand, but threatened to revoke Disney’s favorable tax status.
But the Democrats are now in the process of sidestepping the legislative process and using the bureaucracy and judiciary to impose the transgender agenda. Biden’s Justice Department just issued a letter promoting conversion therapy.
Furthermore, when newly minted Supreme Court justice Katanji Brown Jackson was asked during her confirmation hearing by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), “Can you provide a definition for the word ’woman’?” She responded with a cheerful smile and said, “Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,”
While this caused amusement among the political establishment and fodder for the cartoonists, the message was very clear. Justice Brown Jackson will support the transgender movement via judicial fiat.
Here in Connecticut, this issue is generally being ignored. The media have given Ms. Cataford’s contretemps little coverage. Connecticut Democrats support this policy and Connecticut Republicans have traditionally shied away from volatile social issues. However, there is one social conservative running for the US Senate who could object to this policy – Mr. Peter Lumaj. At present, Connecticut Republican party insiders are working overtime to keep Lumaj off the ballot, but should they fail, the US Senate Republican Party primary in August could be quite interesting.