Review-Journal columnist wants to deny basic freedoms

A Review-Journal columnist wants you to believe that enforced silence is healthier for students than honest discussion.

In his Jan. 27 article about how Clark County schools are beginning to recognize the sex/gender diversity that all persons express, Victor Joecks has again given readers a glimpse into his anxiety-riddled belief that talking openly about how young people grow and change is somehow brainwashing them. His attempt to distort contemporary scientific understandings by asserting that genetic structure is clear-cut and unchanging only makes more visible his deep worry about the pace of inclusive social change. His false argument trumpeting binary biological determinism also flies in the face of what we all know to be true: Each of us is unique, and everyone is growing and changing every day.

The science on this is clear: By 4- or 5-years old, children are able to speak meaningfully about their sex/gender identity. They deserve adults who listen and share support for safe ways to express these identities. That the school district would offer support for honest exploration of such things means young people in our communities are more likely to grow up happy and healthy.

Mr. Joecks seems to want to deny basic freedoms — of speech, of personal autonomy — because of his complex anxiety about diversity. But we in Nevada celebrate our freedoms and honor the truth that diversity is our foundation. And we listen to young people.

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