Vermont School District Officials Claim ‘Detransition Awareness Day’ Would Harm ‘Trans’ Students

According to documents obtained exclusively by Townhall and shared with Parents Defending Education, officials within a Vermont district have said that celebrating the “Detransition Awareness Day,” is hurtful for students who identify themselves as “transgender” and does not align with their “equity policies.”

Documents show that, on February 6, 2023 a parent sent an email to the superintendent and school board of Essex Westford District asking to add “Detransition Awareness Day”, on March 12, to the school calendar. The parent also requested that “Irreversible damage” by Abigail Shrier, be available for students on an easel atop shelves in the HS Library.

The school district responded by claiming that students who “transition gender in any direction” will be recognized during Pride Month, which is held in June.

People who change genders in either direction are celebrated on National Coming Out Day and Pride Month. Of course, we would support anyone transitioning in any way. The EWSD Equity Policy requires that the EWSD Equity Policy affirm LGBTQIA+. Centering gender transition as harmful is not in line with this requirement. We would not focus on this particular frame of gender transition, which is moving from a trans to a gender assigned at birth due to damage done. We would instead support anyone transitioning through the structures and days we recognize, and we’d be supportive of the transition by recognizing their gender. Transgender youth and people can suffer from detransition. “We want to meet the mental needs of transgender people and youth.”


PDE reported that the district equity administrator “drafted an initial response to a parent, but added that they should probably grab a quick consultation’ from a local advocate” (via PDE).

The outside activist responded by saying that “the detransition awareness narratives and literature provided as ‘evidence,’ are not scientifically-based nor as common as people want others to think it is.”

The report continues: “Folks, (often TERFS), will claim that society and peer groups are forcing people into transition so that they don’t have to go through puberty, or that this is a fad.” They say that it’s a “dangerous story that harms efforts to provide affirming care to transgender individuals.”

The activist asserts, “Many people who talk about detransitioning may have been subjected either to conversion therapy or to organizations that do not support transgender individuals.”

They also agree that “if detransition was really a celebration in its entirety of gender identity, we would see it the same way equity policy celebrates marginalized voices which are often silenced.”

A parent asked the district to add “World Detrans Awareness Day”, shortly after. The district rejected this request, claiming that it was because of the “framework and purpose” for the day.

The district equity administrator said that “we would not add to the calendar a day where the narrative or content points in a harmful way at others based on their identity or just for being there in the first instance.”

In another email, an administrator from the district claimed to “have great concern” about Shrier’s book. The book “actually violates our equity policy and could cause harm.”

Erika Sanzi is the director of Parents Defending Education’s outreach. She told Townhall that schools should stop celebrating these silly holidays on the calendar, but if this is what they want to do, they cannot choose sides. If school officials believe that detransition is against their equity policy they should get rid of it because it’s not fair or inclusive, despite what some may claim.