Kids have only just begun to return to their classrooms. But in Texas, transgender students are already feeling the impact of Governor Greg Abbott’s directive for gender-affirming care to be investigated as child abuse.
On the morning of August 30th, child welfare employees pulled a 13-year-old transgender boy out of his classroom and proceeded to interrogate him for hours about his gender-identify and other personal topics, according to court documents obtained by the Washington Post.
According to the Post, the boy, who has a history of suicide attempts, left the interview shaking and distressed.
He isn’t the only child who’s faced invasive questioning about his gender identity from child welfare agents.
In February, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services opened an investigation into the family of a 14-year old who was looking into socially transitioning, according to the Washington Post.
According to the lawsuit, the investigation resulted in her becoming suicidal.
Both children are new additions to a larger lawsuit brought by at least eight other families seeking to block Governor Abbot’s directive.
For those who don’t know, in February Governor Abbot ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate families who provided gender-affirming care to their children as a form of child abuse. The order also directed mandated reporters – including teachers, nurses, and doctors to report families suspected of giving their children gender-affirming care to child services.
It’s worth noting that gender-affirming care and gender-affirming support from families have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of suicide among trans people, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.
So far, some of the families have been able to block child welfare investigations into their homes.
But others, like the two children in this new lawsuit, and the countless other families with trans children in Texas, are still fighting to keep DFPS out of their lives.