Sam Brinton, a non-binary former federal government official who now faces the prospect of substantial jail terms, played a key role in developing a model school policy adopted in many states that instructs school districts to keep “disapproving” parents in the dark. the gender identity or sexual orientation of a potentially suicidal child.
Brinton, a biological male with a reputation for being one of the first non-binary officials in the US government, was recently fired from the Office of Nuclear Energy, an agency of the Department of Energy (DOE), after being accused of stealing airport luggage. multiple times.
Prior to joining the federal government, Brinton was responsible for advocacy and government work at the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention nonprofit The Trevor Project, where she helped create a “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” in 2019 with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. , the American Association of School Counselors, and the National Association of School Psychologists.
Brinton applauded the model at the time, saying school suicide prevention policies were “mandatory” to be “LGBTQ competence”.
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“Furthermore, our research shows that more than half of LGBTQ youth are not open to a single adult in school; these policies provide LGBTQ youths, whether outside or not, that their school is a safe place to learn, and that school staff members Brinton, in a September 9, 2019 press release, said, “In times of crisis, We are ready to help them,” he said.
The model, which has since been adopted at the local and state levels across the country, places severe restrictions on what kind of contact school officials can have with a parent or guardian if a suicidal student identifies as LGBTQ.
“While parents and guardians should be actively involved and informed in decisions regarding the student’s well-being, the school mental health professional must ensure that the parents’ actions are in the best interest of the student (for example, if a student is LGBTQ and lives in a disapproving household),” states the model.
“Recent research shows that LGBTQ youth who are rejected by their parents are at a much higher risk of depression, suicide, illicit drug use and unprotected sexual practices,” he continues. “In contrast, acceptance and support by the family results in higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of suicidal ideation and self-harm events, and better overall physical health.”
Under a section titled “Special Considerations”, schools are instructed not to share a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation with a parent or guardian unless the student expressly consents to it.
“When a parent is notified of a perceived risk or attempt of suicide, it is important that the school maintains student privacy regarding personal information such as sexual orientation or gender identity, especially if the student has not yet disclosed it to the parent or guardian and I do not want it to be shared,” says the model. “The information shared should be limited to the perceived risk of suicide or the facts of the attempt.”
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“Disclosure of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their explicit consent may in some cases endanger the student and will at the very least disrupt the relationship developed with the professional.” “In consultation with the student, the principal or mental health professional working at the school will assess whether there is a risk of further harm due to parent or guardian reporting. If contacting the parent or guardian would endanger the student’s health or well-being, they may appropriately delay such contact.”
“It is recommended that you consult another mental health professional before taking such action,” the model adds. “If contact is delayed, the reasons for the delay should be documented. Legally, the parent should not be contacted and Child Welfare Services should be notified if abuse or neglect is suspected.”
School staff are always instructed to “verify” students who choose to share their sexual orientation or gender identity with the school, and information must be “treated confidential” unless there is “student consent” to disclose.
“When it comes to parents who exhibit rejection behaviors, great sensitivity needs to be paid to what information is communicated to parents,” she says. “Also, when referring students to extracurricular resources, it’s important to connect LGBTQ students with local health and mental health care providers who endorse LGBTQ.”
The model has been adopted, at least in part, by state education departments in Arizona, Idaho, and Virginia, and local school districts in California, New Hampshire, and Oregon, to name a few.
Nicki Neily, founder and president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox: “Parents love their children and want the best for them, and we love to be involved in our family members’ lives to help them grow both personally and academically.” News Digital. “It is inconceivable that a document created by parent-trusted associations, such as school counselors and school psychologists, would imply otherwise.”
“This is a deliberate attempt to undermine familial relationships that are very difficult to rebuild once damaged,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator John Barrasso of R-Wyo is urging the DOE to launch an internal investigation into the security clearance process for Brinton’s hiring.
Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Fox News Digital that the agency has renewed calls for response from DOE and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm regarding the review process for employees and appointees. . The Wyoming Republican said Granholm had repeatedly ignored previous requests for answers.
“It’s clear as day that criminals shouldn’t have security clearances,” Barrasso told Fox News Digital. “For months, I have been waiting for responses from the Department of Energy regarding the failed security clearance process. Minister Granholm did not respond.”
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“When people are assigned to critical positions with important national security responsibilities, Americans must make sure they can be trusted,” he continued. “The department should initiate a thorough investigation into the review process. They must respond to legitimate surveillance investigations. It is in our national security interest.”
Brinton’s attorney did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Thomas Catenacci of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.