An elementary school principal in Swampscott, Mass., last week told students and parents he is transgender. Stanley Elementary School Principal Tom Daniels, 52, said he will begin using the name “Shannon” and wear women’s clothing.
“I can now say it: I am transgender,” Daniels, a married father with three children, wrote in a letter to students, parents, teachers, and administrators last Tuesday. “For me, that means I identify as both a male and female, and I plan to move toward presenting myself and identifying as female.”
The letter proposed language for parents to use when trying to explain the transition to their elementary students, including, “There are many different ways boys and girls express themselves,” and, “Principal Daniels may look and sound different, but inside Principal Daniels is the same caring person.”
But no amount of talking points can shield children from the natural confusion and distress they will feel when their male principal starts dressing as a female, according to Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg.
“Children do not have the cognitive capacity to understand something which could upend their own developing sense of a secure, natural identity as male or female,” Sprigg told LifeSite News, adding that Daniels’ case is even more extreme because he is asking elementary school–age children to embrace his identity as both a man and a woman. “Children should not be subjected to such social engineering.”
One South Dakota state legislator this week tried to sponsor a bill that would have prohibited public schools from teaching students from kindergarten to seventh grade about gender identity or gender expression, but it appears a forceful LGBT lobby bested the effort. A committee hearing was scheduled for Thursday, and LGBT advocates were on hand to testify, but at the last minute, state Sen. Phil Jensen dropped the bill. He refused to explain why. —K.C.