Arizona Dept. of Education Promotes LGBTQ+ Chat Rooms for Teens, No Parental Consent Required

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The Arizona Department of Education’s website provides links to LGBTQ+ chat rooms which do not require parental consent from parents for children over the age of 13 and which are moderated by adults with apparently no qualifications beyond their own LGBTQ+ identities.

The Christian Post reports that the state’s DOE website includes links to the Gender Spectrum and Q Chat Space under the “Online Chat Spaces” tab of its student resources section.

These links are part of a list of resources for students, teachers, and parents to “assist in the support of LGBTQ students in our schools and communities” which includes information about a number of LGBTQ+ groups and was put together by “members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community as part of ADE’s Equitable and Inclusive Practices Advisory Council.”

This comes just weeks after a teacher in Arizona who had organized a “queer” group for her high school students as well as a drag performance was arrested for sexually abusing a 15-year-old student.

Sexuality education in schools has been one of the most controversial issues in education over the past year, particularly when parents are given no opportunity to consent or even be informed not only of what their children are learning, but how they identify at school.

The Post notes that some parents have filed lawsuits alleging their school districts went behind their back to facilitate their children’s “transition” while earlier this month, we reported that a group of teachers shared about how they disregard parents’ requests to use student’s birth names and pronouns sometimes with the full support of their school district.

One of the chat rooms the Arizona DOE directs students to peruse, the Gender Spectrum is aimed at “transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive pre-teens,” and includes discussions facilitated by adults “who have navigated gender in their own lives.” The chat groups are for ages 13 to 16, 17 to 18 and 10 to 12, respectively.

“Gender Spectrum hosts free online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other family members and adults,” the state DOE website reads. “These groups provide you with the opportunity to connect with others, share experiences, and feel the comfort of a supportive community.”

Q Chat Space, the second chat room the DOE promotes for students, is aimed at 13 to 19-year-olds and is operated in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The space is manned by “experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the United States,” which its website notes “are NOT mental health professionals.”

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has been closely involved with programs which promote so-called “sexuality education” in schools and, as the Post noted, has come under fire for allegedly providing hormone treatments to minors without verification of medical records or parental consent.

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