Seattle public schools offer free “gender affirmative care” to students
Schools in Seattle are currently offering free “gender affirmative care” to students as young as 11, a prominent parental rights group has found – already outraging parents.
The service, revealed this week in documents obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE), is provided by medical services provider Country Doctor Community Health Centers — a facility that already offers hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery for adolescents.
PDE announced the arrangement Tuesday, specifically singled out two health centers — both of which are located in Seattle public schools.
Both centers are run by the same non-profit organization in Country Doctor, which also runs two primary care clinics where such practices take place elsewhere in the city.
The facility’s self-declared “mission,” according to its website, “is to promote health in transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse communities by ensuring equal access to gender-affirming medications and procedures.”
Seattle schools like this are currently offering free “gender affirmative care” to students as young as 10, a parental rights group has found. The on-site services include hormone therapy for adolescents, as well as surgery referrals for prepubescent children
To achieve this, medical services provider Country Doctor installed school-based centers at Meany Middle School (pictured) and Nova High School (pictured above), making it easy for students to seek such services locally and for free
To achieve this, Country Doctor installed school-based centers at Meany Middle School and Nova High School, allowing students to “easily” seek such services locally and for free.
While puberty blockers are still out of the question for prepubescents, children as young as 10 can still access sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, according to the Country Doctor website outlining their policies.
DailyMail.com contacted the facility for further clarification on the policies of these school wellness centers, but did not receive an immediate response.
According to Seattle Public School documents obtained by PDE, both centers are “staffed full-time by a clinic administrator, medical providers, and a behavioral health specialist.”
One passage further describes the Country Doctor practice at Nova High – the Nova Wellness Center – and shows how students access sex hormones and puberty blockers not only there, but at other schools as well.
“The Nova Wellness Center provides cost-free, comprehensive, trauma-informed and gender-affirming care, easy on the school,” the passage reads, before listing and specifying some of the services it offers, including “gender-affirming care.”
“We bill appropriate services to the insurance if you have it,” he adds, after confirming it is a subsidiary of Country Doctor. “There are never any co-payments or co-insurances to worry about.
“We also provide services and support to students and families without insurance.”
Medical services available at the center, the document states, include “physical wellness” and “gender-affirming care.”
It further states on its website that the Nova Wellness Center offers the service “free” and with a “trauma-informed” approach.
DailyMail.com reached out to the center for comment on Tuesday, but did not immediately hear back.
Seattle public schools are currently offering free ‘gender-affirming care’ to students as young as 10, a leading parental rights organization has found
A passage written by the Seattle public school district details the Country Doctor practice at Nova High (pictured), showing how students are accessing sex hormones and puberty blockers not only there, but at other schools as well
That said, a passage on Country Doctor’s website provides some insight into what exactly the gender-affirming policy entails.
It says, “Gender Affirmative Care is integrated into everyday primary care so you can get your hormones in the same place you get your health exams, cancer screenings, and treatment for acute and chronic health conditions.”
It then outlines the services – offered exclusively to “transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients.”
They include: ‘sex-confirming drugs (estrogen, androgen blockers, testosterone, etc.) and injection education as needed’, as well as ‘hormone therapy for adolescents and specialist referrals for younger patients as needed’.
Also included in the treatment are ‘Referrals for gender affirming surgeries’ such as vaginoplasty and breast reconstruction – and ‘procedures (e.g. speech therapy, electrolysis).
“Help obtaining mental health support letters for gender affirming procedures and referrals for internal or external behavioral health counseling,” it adds, will also be handed out “as needed.”
The only caveat to the controversial treatment, Country Doctor clarified, is that “no puberty blockers are currently being provided to children who have not yet reached puberty.”
The statement — which comes because the Seattle Public School District also implemented a policy that states a student’s gender identity may be kept secret from parents — suggests similar practices may exist at Country Doctor’s sister center in nearby Meany Middle.
DailyMail.com reached out to that center, which is also run by Country Doctor, for comment.
Since the policy was unveiled Tuesday, parents like Erika Sanzi (pictured) have been expressing their disgust. She labeled the previously unreported policy as “a whole new level of awful” after helping uncover it on Tuesday
Since the policy was unveiled Tuesday, parents have been expressing their disgust.
“It’s bad enough that medical professionals are prescribing sex hormones and cutting off breasts and genitals from minors,” Erika Sanzi, PDE director of outreach, said in a statement after her agency discovered the previously unreported document.
“It’s a whole new level of horrible and terrifying for schools to get involved.”
In statements to DailyMail.com, Sanzi, a former teacher, added that the pandemic has already affected the education of her three school-aged sons and that policies like this threaten to further hinder their education.
She described how she had to “put scaffolding in place” to ensure her boys could continue their education, study unsupervised, and not fall too far behind. She revealed that other families in her area weren’t so lucky, she added.
“It really hurt a lot of families in my state,” Sanzi said.
“Families with an eight-year-old child who was quarantined repeatedly, could not stay at home alone and did not have a parent working at home.”
When schools were open, masking rules hindered classroom interaction, Sanzi said. Schoolchildren who had been exposed to the pathogen, although not necessarily ill or contagious, were “repeatedly” evicted from classrooms.
For many schoolchildren who have fallen behind, there is a “very high probability that they will not catch up,” she warned.
Alex Nester, a research associate for PDE, also voiced his disapproval.
“Schools are not parents, and they are not doctors’ offices,” he said in his own statement. “The combination of the district’s exclusionary policy and the provision of dubious medical interventions to change a child’s sex creates a truly troubling situation for families in Seattle.”
That said, it currently remains unclear whether Seattle’s school district — the largest in Washington state — wants the parents if their child seeks “gender-affirming care” at one of two school facilities, both of which are approved by the SPS.
However, in separate documents obtained by the Sanzi team, the district advised staff not to “disclose a student’s transgender or gender X status unless required to do so by law.”
Considering the district’s recently passed law, it seems that such a limiter is virtually non-existent.
The district also states that staff should “avoid the use of gender pronouns” if “it is unclear whether the student is claiming the same gender identity at home.”
DailyMail.com has reached out to the district for comment and for more information on student-related health services.