A public school district in Maryland has seen the number of students identifying as non-binary skyrocket by 582% in the past two years, according to data published online.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) collects information from forms students fill out when they seek counseling for gender-identity issues. The data is not normally publicly available, but was posted on Twitter by educator Elicia Eberhart-Bliss, who shared an image of a presentation to the MCPS Pride Alliance which included the figures.
The presentation showed that 35 students self-reported as gender-nonconforming to counselors during the 2019-2020 school year, four of whom were in elementary school. The number shot up to 239 students for the 2021-2022 school year, with 18 elementary students, 129 middle school students and 92 high school students identifying as non-binary.
An intake form used by counselors and shared by Fox45 news shows students are asked for their “identified name” and “identified gender” as well as their preferred pronouns. Over the past four years, 423 forms have been submitted, showing that 45% of MCPS students identified as gender-nonconforming.
Christopher Cram, an MCPS spokesman, told the Daily Caller it was “impossible” to get a “full accounting” of all LGBTQ-identifying students, because it is self-reported information.
“This information is covered by privacy rules and is only collected if a student offers that information to a counselor,” Cram said, explaining that it was therefore impossible to accurately quantify.
“A percentage ‘of’ or ‘rise’ cannot be determined to be considered accurate in any way,” he said.
One parent in the Montgomery district told the Caller that the “clear explosion of gender-confused children” was “incredibly illuminating” and a “nationwide” problem.
School district rules say that students have a right to privacy when it comes to their gender identity at schools and that parents will only be involved when the student confirms that the parents “are aware of and supportive of the student’s gender identity.”
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