Sam Brinton, the non-binary former Biden official now facing prison time for theft, played a key role in creating a model school policy to keep “unaffirming” parents in the dark about their child’s gender change, identity and sexual orientation.
Brinton, who became one of the U.S. government’s first non-binary officials, was fired from the Office of Nuclear Energy earlier this month after being charged with stealing airport luggage.
Before Brinton secured a role at the federal government, seemingly unvetted, the former Biden official was in charge of advocacy and government affairs at the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention nonprofit The Trevor Project. There, Brinton helped craft a “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” in 2019 along with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.
Brinton praised the model at the time, saying it was “imperative” for school suicide prevention policies to be “LGBTQ competent.”
“In addition, our research shows that more than half of LGBTQ youth are not out to a single adult in school; these policies show LGBTQ youth, out or not, that their school is a safe place for them to learn and that school staff are prepared to help them in times of crisis,” Brinton said in a Sept. 9, 2019, press release.
The model has since been adopted at local and state levels and paces severe restrictions on school officials in how they can communicate with a parent or guardian if a suicidal student identifies as LGBTQ or signals gender change.
“While parents and guardians need to be informed and actively involved in decisions regarding the student’s welfare, the school mental health professional should ensure that the parent’s actions are in the best interest of the student (e.g., when a student is LGBTQ and living in an unaffirming household),” the model states.
“Recent research shows that LGBTQ youth who are rejected by their parents are at a much higher risk of depression, suicide, illegal drug use, and unprotected sexual practices,” it continues. “Conversely, acceptance and support by family results in higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of suicidal ideation and self-harm incidents, and better overall physical health.”
Under a section titled, “Special Considerations,” schools are banned from sharing a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation with a parent without consent from the student.
“When a parent is notified of perceived suicide risk or an attempt, it is essential that the school maintain student confidentiality related to personal information such as sexual orientation or gender identity, especially when the student has not already disclosed to the parent or guardian and does not want it shared,” the model states. “Information shared should be restricted to the perceived risk of suicide or facts of the attempt.”
“Disclosing a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their explicit consent can in some cases endanger the student and at a minimum will impair the rapport developed with the professional,” it continues. “Through discussion with the student, the principal or school-employed mental health professional will assess whether there is further risk of harm due to parent or guardian notification. If the principal, designee, or mental health professional believes, in their professional capacity, that contacting the parent or guardian would endanger the health or well-being of the student, they may delay such contact as appropriate.”
“Consultation with another mental health professional is recommended before taking such inaction,” the model adds. “If contact is delayed, the reasons for the delay should be documented. Legally, the parent should not be contacted and Child Protection Services should be notified if abuse or neglect is suspected.”
School officials are told to “validate” students who choose to share their sexual orientation or gender identity, and the information should be “treated as confidential” unless “the student’s permission” is granted.
“In the case of parents who have exhibited rejecting behaviors, great sensitivity needs to be taken in what information is communicated with parents,” it says. “Additionally, when referring students to out-of-school resources, it is important to connect LGBTQ students with LGBTQ-affirming local health and mental health service providers.”
State education departments also adopted the model for Arizona, Idaho, and Virginia, and school districts in California, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
“Parents love their children and want the best for them; we desperately want to be involved in their lives so that we can help our family members thrive, both personally and academically,” Nicki Neily, founder and president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital. “It is unconscionable that a document created by associations, which parents trust — such as the school counselors and school psychologists — would imply otherwise.”
“This is a deliberate attempt to undermine familial relationships, which are very difficult to rebuild once damaged,” she said.
As we reported earlier this week, Republican Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called for an investigation into the vetting and security clearance process involving the recruitment of Brinton.
The Daily Fetched reported:
Barrasso, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he was renewing calls to disclose the agency’s vetting process for employees and appointees.
The Republican said DOE and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm repeatedly ignored his previous requests for answers.
“It is clear as day that felons should not hold security clearances,” Barrasso told Fox News Digital.
“For months, I’ve been demanding answers from the Department of Energy on their failed security clearance process. Secretary Granholm has provided none.”
“When people are appointed to critical positions with important national security responsibilities, Americans must be confident they can be trusted,” he continued.