Over the last year, Vermont’s school board disputes have revealed the same pattern of a unilateral ideology dominating school boards, and attacking anyone who dares differ with the cultish frenzy of agitation behind “woke” CRT and transgender activists who have infested government and public schools. The stakes are indeed high for both political revolutionaries and the children upon whom they are experimenting. The deck is stacked, but the hypocrisy is epic. This is evident in contrasting the outspoken aggressiveness of legislators like state Rep. Elizabeth Burrows, D/P-Windsor.
Rep. Burrows sits on Mount Ascutney School Board concurrently with her House seat, both of which she uses like cudgels against young children not her own. Her current outrage is to sponsor a bill that would allow children to undergo hormone therapy to change their genders without parental consent. As I have explained previously, this is already the practice in Vermont — Burrows et al. seem to think they can cover their bureaucratic butts by passing a law to protect this horrid ideological recklessness toward children.
Mrs. Burrows proudly proclaims her wokeness, though her credentials to decide that young children should be permitted to consent to permanent infertility are absent. It is only a matter of time before these outrageous behaviors by officials lead to lawsuits: will Burrows be personally liable for her gross negligence toward the children entrusted to her care, or do the state and its insurers cover her malfeasance as she presumes to be a psychotherapist and master of legal jurisprudence?
Burrows’ bill, H.659, sets out the following rationale for permitting children at any age to choose to undergo irrevocable, risky hormone therapies:
- Per one survey, LGBTQ youth consider suicide;
- They are less likely to do so if their pronouns are affirmed and they can have birth certificates that match their gender preference.
- 14% of Vermont High Schoolers self-identify as LGBTQ per one survey, though “ one percent… reported being unsure about whether they were transgender.”
- LGBTQ High Schoolers are more likely to be bullied, use drugs and commit crimes.
- One 2019 survey found 63% of LGBTQ High Schoolers reported “feeling sad or hopeless.”
- “Numerous studies” (unnamed) show transgender youth are anxious and depressed.
- An unnamed 2020 study “indicated” that children who delayed puberty had reduced suicidal risks as adults.
Only the last of these relates to hormone blockers, and it does not state what percentage of suicides are averted, or who wrote the study, over what time period, or how it was peer-reviewed. The argument for excluding parents from these decisions is hardly even offered, though the statute gets legally twisted when it recites this folly:
A minor who identifies as transgender may give consent to receive hormone blockers and any other legally authorized nonsurgical, gender-affirming care or treatment from a licensed health care professional working within the health care professional’s authorized scope of practice. Consent under this section shall not be subject to disaffirmance due to minority of the individual providing consent. The consent of the individual’s parent or guardian shall not be necessary to authorize the minor’s access to legally authorized nonsurgical, gender-affirming care or treatment.
Aside from the absence of actual resources for this bold leap, the bill is silent as to the permanent infertility these children face; the risks of cancer, heart disease, and many other health risks associated with experimental hormone therapies; or the constitutional justification to permit children consent to change sexes before they can legally consent to marry or have sex (unless Burrows plans to liberate kids from those oppressive restrictions as well).
This last issue is a legal and jurisprudential one, and we are talking about a legislature passing laws. The core issue here is one of consent: why does Burrows perceive that she can legislate the ability of a child to consent with the sweep of her delusioned pen? Statutory rape is a fundamental protection for children, present in most societies through history:
Statutory rape is the crime of sex with a minor when the sex is agreed to by both parties, not forced. The reason why it is considered rape is because the minor is considered to be too young to legally consent to have sex or sexual contact. The age at which a person is too young to consent to have sex or sexual contact varies by state, and often varies by different crimes. For example, if an adult has “consensual sex” with a person under the age of 12, that might be rape in the first degree, carrying a heavy sentence. If an adult has “consensual sex” with a person who is 16 years old, then that might be rape in the third degree and carry a lighter sentence.
Vermont recognizes this distinction: sexual activity with a child under 13 is considered an “aggravated” assault – even if “consensual,” like Burrows’ perverse effort and the laughably fake “consents” being signed by kids at UVM without their parents’ involvement. By definition, a child cannot give consent. How does Burrows imagine she has insulated herself, any more than any child predator?
The proposed statute cites high school statistics, but contains no age limit for gender hormone therapy. American children achieve puberty at younger ages than ever, often at age 6 or 7 – clearly Burrows sees no bottom-end age limit, and no problem with informed consent issues like “Well, you are only six: shall we freeze your sperm in case you want to be a parent one day?” – that won’t hold up in court very well, because it is insane to suggest that child is capable of informed consent.
This issue of consent transfers also to the age of marriage – why are polygamy and child marriage wrong for Mormons, but the permanent pre-pubescent elimination of fertility is a decision the pseudo-enlightened Burrows can surreptitiously grant to other people’s kids? Looking at international marriage norms:
The United Nations defines child marriage as marriage before the age of 18 but some American states are violating this norm, allowing children as young as 12 to get married and exposing them to statutory rape. “Our study exposes the inconsistency between laws that permit children to marry and laws that criminalise sex with children across the US. The research shows that some child marriages are indistinguishable from sex crimes,” says senior author Alissa Koski, an Assistant Professor in the Department of in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. “It’s unclear why they were certified as marriages rather than prosecuted,” she adds. The researchers recommend that throughout the US the minimum age for marriage should be raised to 18, bringing the United States “in line with its commitment to end child marriage by the year 2030 as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
How are these conflicting stances on consent to be reconciled? The far-out Left wishes to expand “freedom” for children akin to throwing them in a five-lane L.A. highway at rush hour. The statistics in the proposed consent statute reflect a subgroup of identities who seem particularly depressed, anxious, suicidal, and confused – 1% of Vermont high schoolers don’t know whether they might be trans (per the statute!), and Barrows wants to offer sex change hormones to much younger (less psychologically developed) children. It is difficult to choose between aggravated assault and lewd and lascivious as descriptions for this effort, so degenerate is this bill.
But herein lies the almost comic hypocrisy. Surveying just a handful of Burrowsian legislators in Vermont, let us recall that when Sen. Russ Ingalls released the already-public email of a teacher conditioning grade schoolers with gender pronouns, congressional aspirant Becca Balint called for rule changes to have him censored for “doxxing” the teacher! Later, when school board member Liz Cady (a parent, not a paid legislator) issued a very well-reasoned statement that people should not be discriminated against for vaccination status, the progressive chimps howled indignantly from the trees:
“One of our roles and responsibilities as board members is to avoid even an appearance of conflict of interest,” Knox said in an emailed statement. “(Cady’s) unsanctioned rhetoric is harmful, and implies a disregard for this responsibility to our students, staff, teachers, families, and community members.”
State Rep. Lori Houghton, D-Essex, wrote on Facebook that she and the rest of the Essex legislative delegation “are appalled by the latest statement from EWSD School Board Member, Liz Cady and unequivocally reject her twisting of historical facts to fit her narrative.”
“We encourage Essex residents to pay attention to the spoken words of our elected leaders,” Houghton wrote. “We can do better.”
There has been no condemnation by these same voices – or by anyone in Vermont’s school board or education systems – of Carolyn Partridge’s blatant instigation of voter fraud while both a legislator and school board member, or of Elizabeth Burrows’ shameless conflict here. Burrows is both legislator and school board member, and her extremist declarations of her political zealotry make it obvious that there is no effort at objectivity, or respecting the views of parents — she seeks to undermine parents. When the heads roll on this betrayal of our children, they will land in massive baskets under litigation. Burrows is a particularly cruel type of predator — Burrows seeks to open the whole world to experimentation under the pretense of child consent, while proclaiming herself as an enlightened liberator.
Perhaps Vermont parents will have recourse against Burrows and the ultra-progressives in international court, where their child-exploiting extremism will be more closely scrutinized:
The researchers question some states’ marital exemptions to statutory rape laws, explaining that such laws are in place to protect children from “potential physical and mental harms stemming from exploitative relationships.” They say that these laws “acknowledge that children may not have the capacity to give their full and informed consent to sexual activity.” They also refute another argument for marital exemptions, namely the parental consent requirement for children to marry “may be perceived as sufficient protection against potential harms.” The researchers note that “parental consent for child marriage may be difficult to distinguish from parental coercion in some cases, casting doubt on whether this requirement is sufficient protection.”
That last point sums it up: gender hormone therapy for young children is a very dubious venture – most children who are transgender change their minds in adulthood, per the science. There are likely small percentages of children who would benefit from thoroughly-considered hormonal therapies. But with so many experimental unknowns, allowing children to routinely undergo such life-changing treatments on their fleeting whim is child abuse and ideological exploitation – even if their parents do consent.
No wonder progressives object to Liz Cady opposing discrimination, as they seek to impose it through blatant voter fraud in schools, or laws that remove parents from the most important decisions facing their young children.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.