Schools across the United States, from Massachusetts to Wisconsin, are coming under scrutiny for directing children to online LGBT chat platforms.
These sites, which facilitate discussions on topics ranging from “gender-affirming surgeries” to occult practices, involve interactions between minors and adults who identify as LGBT, often without parental knowledge or consent.
The Daily Wire reports that in Massachusetts, public schools have encouraged LGBTQIA+ youth to use QChat, a platform designed for chat-based discussion groups for teens aged 13 to 19.
This site, backed by various LGBT activist groups and Planned Parenthood, covers a wide range of topics, including "queer youth activism" and "sex and relationships." Notably, QChat features a "quick escape" button, enabling users to quickly conceal their activity from parents.
Similarly, Wisconsin schools have guided students to TrevorSpace, another platform allowing minors to chat anonymously with adults. TrevorSpace, a project of the Trevor Project, has faced criticism for hosting graphic conversations about sexual topics and advising minors on ways to conceal activities like obtaining breast binders from their parents.
The promotion of these platforms is part of a broader issue where states, school districts, and medical organizations are enabling the social and medical transition of children, often bypassing parental consent. For example, a social worker in a Maine school provided a 13-year-old girl with a breast binder to aid her social transition without parental knowledge.
Nicole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education, highlights that many gender policies in districts are promoted as 'anti-bullying' measures, with districts citing mental health data.
However, this often results in parents being circumvented by what she describes as radical gender activists in schools.
In addition to Massachusetts and Wisconsin, school districts across the country, including Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin, San Juan Unified School District in California, and Charlotte Independent School District in Texas, have promoted these chat platforms. The platforms are criticized for the potential threats they pose to children's safety, with concerns about inappropriate discussions and the exclusion of parental oversight.
The controversy has reached lawmakers, with Republican members of Congress condemning the CDC's promotion of QChat. State officials have also faced criticism for advertising these sites, as seen in a lawsuit against former Arizona State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman over the promotion of QChat Space.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has drafted a letter for parents to demand the removal of TrevorSpace as a resource on school district sites, citing concerns about student safety in chat-room-style forums where adults and children discuss sensitive topics, often excluding parents from the conversation.
“Chat room-style forums allow adults and children to connect to discuss topics such as sexuality and sexual preferences, gender transitioning (including how to obtain sex hormones and promotion of irreversible surgeries), and how to keep information secret from parents,” the letter states. “Students discussing sexuality with adults, often seeking to eliminate parents entirely from the conversation, raises significant concerns about student safety.”
In response to inquiries, Reno, Nevada's Washoe County School District removed QChat Space from its counseling resources after acknowledging it was not on the district's list of approved websites, the Daily Wire reported.