The National Association of School Psychologists, Part 3: Pushing Gender Ideology in the Schools
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, disseminates information to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), anti-racism, and critical race theory (CRT), as well as gender ideology in minors. NASP is also active in advocacy and public policy initiatives that have an impact on state and federal regulations and laws.
This is the third of three articles describing the initiatives, policies, and publications that NASP promotes to its members and makes available to the public.
Our previous reports described how the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is dedicated to the ideologies of DEI and anti-racism, and how the organization pushes these philosophies onto its members through its messaging and publications. The effect is that school psychologists, armed with these divisive philosophies, are able to interact with students of all ages in the learning environment. For example, holders of the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential must complete mandatory training on “equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice” as part of the 75 hours of continuing education needed for renewal.
NASP holds similarly extreme stands on gender ideology issues and has done so over the past several years. The organization’s 2014 position statement on Safe Schools for Transgender and Gender Diverse Students noted that the Role of the School Psychologist was to “be in tune” with the students’ needs and to “provide evidence-based information about transgender issues.” By 2022, the tone had changed. In a February press release that year, NASP announced that it “condemns recent legislative efforts and executive actions in states across the country that seek to discourage, criminalize, and endanger transgender and gender diverse students.” The organization made this move in response to states (like Missouri and Tennessee) that were tuning in to the urgent need to protect children from harmful sex change treatments and procedures.
The updated Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Diverse Students followed, with NASP placing school psychologists in a difficult situation. The new position statement announced that they are “ethically obligated” to speak up, advocate for, and “foster safe and supportive schools for all students, specifically TGD [transgender and gender diverse] students (NASP, 2020b).” Among the “five functions” school psychologists are expected to perform with these students is to “affirm,” and mentions the term twenty times in the document. This includes “use the student’s affirmed name and pronoun in all written correspondence,” “prevent deadnaming,” and immediately challenge “those who misgender” with instructions on how to apologize and change one’s behavior. Policy recommendations of the 2022 position statement state that school psychologists are expected to:
- Support access to gender-affirming care and reject efforts that would allow health providers to deny services to gender diverse students
- Ensure school curricula is inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons and oppose any effort to ban discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools
- Allow students to use facilities, including bathrooms and locker rooms, consistent with their gender identity
NASP followed up its position statement with a document produced in a partnership with Gender Spectrum to provide “terminology and gender basics” so school psychologists can “provide evidence-based information” about transgender issues.
In another publication in this series titled Gender Inclusive Schools: Child Development and Research, NASP presents data about the prevalence of students who say they are transgender, mental health risks and suicidal ideation statistics, and “the impact of medical treatment.” For example, the document contains information from the literature that says transgender youth “disproportionately report suicidal ideation: 38% to 83%” and treatment with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones shows “marked improvement in psychological functioning.” Although this 2016 publication contains outdated (and in some cases, discredited) information, NASP continues to provide it as a resource on its website.
NASP also promotes Comprehensive and Inclusive Sexuality Education, beginning in kindergarten. This 2021 position statement describes sex education that is “inclusive of those who identify as gender and sexually diverse, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex, and those who are transgender.” To be “inclusive,” the education must address “diverse sexual orientations, sex assigned at birth,” and “gender identity.” The NASP position statement says that the information must be “developmentally appropriate,” and educational materials “should align with established national standards, such as the National Sexuality Education Standards.”
The National Association of School Psychologists claims a membership of more than 25,000 psychology professionals and graduate students in the United States and worldwide. That means innumerable children and adolescents are being influenced by individuals who are trained in school psychology – and are credentialed by the states that issue their licenses – with information that is divisive, politicized, and intended to further indoctrinate them. NASP members, pediatric mental/behavioral health professionals, concerned citizens, and lawmakers must call on the organization to course-correct and discontinue the policies, practices, and affiliations that jeopardize the well-being of our youth.
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