Canyon Independent School District Parents & School Board Members,
On Monday, March 8th, 2021, I spoke at the Canyon Independent School District board meeting. Due to poor audio, many people in the room could not hear my words. In the 5 minute time limit, I tried to unfold my findings associated with the district's mental health program, tMHFA (teem Mental Health First Aid).
The six point harm analysis I presented was created after I viewed the full program at the Canyon DSC (district support center) office. The viewing occurred in February 2021. The program was presented by one of the tMHFA certified trainers that works for the district. Principal Gomez was also present.
Before the presentation began, I asked the tMHFA trainer if there was any LGBT information or ideology anywhere in the program. The resounding answer was "Absolutely not, Mrs. Haynes". This proved to be false once the entire presentation of all lessons was complete (about 45 minutes). I immediately turned to the trainer and told her how disappointed I was that she had not told the truth about the program's contents. I left that meeting with copies (2) of the program manuals. I went home and spent hours going through all of the material and created the tMHFA Harm Analysis. There are 6 harmful elements to children outlined in the analysis.
It's worth mentioning that during our meeting, the trainer reminded me that there was a parent meeting prior to the program being presented to children and I did not attend. She preceded to tell me that only 10 parents attended. I clearly communicated to her that the clear reason that only 10 parents attended the meeting was because there was zero information in the parent permission form that alerted parents to ANYTHING harmful in this program (i.e. gender ideology).
I had very clearly communicated my concern about this program to Superintendent Flusche at the 2/28/2021 'Concerned Parents of CISD' mask meeting in which Flusche attended. The following week, I was invited to the DSC to discuss the program with Flusche. I was optimistic about this meeting prior to arrival. On Thursday, March 4th at 1:30pm, I arrived at the DSC and met with Superintendent Flusche and 3 other district employees (Assistant Superintendent, Robyn Cranmer, Canyon High Principal, Jennifer Boren, tMHFA trainer, Carissa Wingate). All three of the district employees did not want to remove the content that contained the transgender child sharing his mental health journey. They think this is speaking to a diverse demographic within our school. I expressed my concern that it was normalizing and affirming this child's decision to change his sex. I went on to explain how showing how the transgender child came forward to share his struggles, received help and was now living as the opposite sex was, in fact, encouraging other children to do the same. The district employees disagreed.
"The American College of Pediatricians recommends an immediate cessation of these interventions, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies." 4
I went on to explain that we know that people who have sex changes have an attempted suicide rate of 40% (2). A recent phenomenon among adolescents and young adults is rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), the sudden outbreak of gender dysphoria among friends, primarily females who did not exhibit the symptoms of gender dysphoria previously.3 I expressed concern that this program was promoting sex change and it is causing more damage than good. The district employees disagreed.
"Strong evidence does exist to show that most gender distressed children, if not transitioned and affirmed during childhood, will grow up to accept their natal sex." 2
When I asked who was responsible for vetting this program's help resources? Silence.
When I asked who was in charge of permission form? Silence.
When I ask if a child calls the 1-800 number and are having suicidal thoughts because they are pregnant, is the help line going to push them to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic (as is listed in help materials)? Silence.
When I ask if a child calls the 1-800 number and are gender dysphoric, will the help line push them to the Trevor Project's 'Coming Out' guide (as is listed in help materials)? Silence.
When I ask if a child calls the 1-800 number and they are gender dysphoric, will they have to answer what is their sex, will there be 12 answers presented (like the corresponding website)? Silence.
The entire meeting was not about removing this harmful program, but a debate about which of the harmful elements could be removed so that the program could remain in place.
This was beyond disappointing.
Let me just stop right here and first say that no parent should ask about a program's curriculum and not be told the entire truth. Parents should not have to sit through a 45+ minute sit down to understand what a program contains. Even if there are parents in this district that think all 6 of my points in the tMHFA harm analysis are ridiculous, I believe the one thing we can all agree on is parental rights. Parents have the right to make the decision about what is best for their family.
"Schools should notify parents in advance of any program, assembly, lesson, book, or class that covers sex education, sexual activities or orientation, "gender-identity", or other reproductive or family-life issues. This will demonstrate respect for the primacy of parents to teach the materials in accord with their family's values and to protect their children's physical and mental health and well-being"1
CISD failed on communicating program content to parents.
Not only are Superintendent Flusche and I not on the same page, we are not on the same planet. There is no way I am aligning myself with Lady Gaga on endorsing the tMHFA program and it's numerous harmful elements. I believe that we need to immediately get this harmful program out of our school.
Now, let me make 3 points absolutely, crystal clear.
I would have NEVER created this second post about the tMHFA program if the conversation with the district had not been about which one of the harmful elements can we 'negotiate' to take out so that we can keep the program in place. If they had simply selected another program with none of the harmful elements I mentioned, I wouldn't say another word about mental health.
I am NOT against a mental health program. Actually, quite the opposite. After all of the research and reading I have done, I whole-heartedly believe we desperately do need a mental health program. Just not one that is causing more harm that good.
All children should always be treated with dignity, respect and love.
I do not expect parents to think the way that I think. I do, however, expect a level of transparency and honesty within our public school district. I also believe that parents have a right to fully know what I have found in my analysis. Then, each family can make their own decision about what is right for their child. Parents are still in charge of their children.
Assistant Superintendent, Robyn Cranmer said that there are no other mental health programs that exist that will satisfy her requirements. I have reached out to a local education provider to see if they would be willing to create a program. I have also pulled a list of every school district in Region 16 and am calling each one to find out what mental health program they are using. Surely, there is an option that would suffice other than Lady Gaga's selection.
I am extremely worried that CISD's current mental health program is encouraging transgenderism which promotes mutilation of little bodies and results in a lifetime of regret.
I would like every teacher to understand that my actions are not to fight against teachers. My husband and I love teachers and are extremely grateful for all they have done in our lives and our children's lives. We want to work to ensure that the material put in your hands, is the best it can be. We want curriculum to never cause you to feel a tug between your own values and what you are being directed to place in the hands of a child. We applaud you! We commend you! Thank you, teachers, for all that you do!
On that note, my efforts are not to work against the district, but for us to work together. The issue arises when we are so far apart on what is acceptable. This letter is an effort to put everything out there in full transparency. I am 100% comfortable with my position and feel good about standing by it today and for eternity.
Now Superintendent Flusche has a decision to make. He has to decide where he will stand and what he will stand for by his actions.
One of my mentor's favorite quotes is 'Awareness is the first step to responsibility'. I have felt a huge tug at my heart to protect, not just my children, but all children. I am aware. I feel a huge weight of responsibility to make you aware.
One Concerned Canyon Mama
PS - Many parents have asked me the status of my grievance with the district over the inappropriate, sexually explicit CISD Fall 2020 Freshman book lists. The district came back with an answer at the Feb. 8th, 2021 School Board Meeting. One result is the creation of parent committees to review and recommend appropriate reading material. Parents have been asking me where they can sign up. The district posted a link right before spring break.
1 Navigating The Transgender Landscape - School Resource Guide created by Child & Parental Rights Campaign.
3 Littman L (2019) Correction: Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria. PLOS ONE 14(3): e0214157. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214157
4 Gender Dysphoria in Children, American College of Pediatricians – November 2018, Position Statement; www.acpeds.org/position-statements/gender-dysphoria-in-children
Other Supporting Material:
At the 3/8/2021 CISD School Board Meeting that I spoke at, I gave every school board member a hard copy of each of the below items. I feel they are great resources for parents trying to understand and navigate transgenderism in public schools. I would like to point out that I do not agree with all beliefs put forth in every publication.
Irreversible Damage - The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier
Trans Life Survivors by Walt Heyer
Paper Genders by Walt Heyer
Navigating The Transgender Landscape - School Resource Guide created by Child & Parental Rights Campaign