Transgender Psychologist: ‘Serious Error in Judgment’ for Schools to Hide Gender Transitions from Parents

A transgender psychologist from Berkeley, California, has filed an amicus brief against a Maryland school district that allegedly hid children’s gender transitions from parents.

“It’s well established that one of the most important factors in helping gender-questioning children is family support,” the psychologist, who now uses the name Erica Anderson, Ph.D., told Fox News Digital. “So to deliberately deprive a child of support at a time potentially when they most need it is, I think, a serious error in judgment.”

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed the brief last week, in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, on behalf of Anderson, who has practiced as a clinical psychologist for more than 40 years, and, since 2016, has focused primarily on children and adolescents dealing with gender identity issues at both the Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic at Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco, and in private practice.

According to the filing, Anderson served as a board member for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the primary global association for the transgender medical industry, and as president of the United States branch of WPATH, USPATH, between 2019 and 2021.

Anderson’s amicus brief urges the federal court of appeals to reverse the August 20 decision of District Judge Paul W. Grimm, who holds that a Montgomery County, Maryland, school district policy may “exclude parents from significant decisions affecting their children and states that the policy does not violate parents’ constitutional rights,” WILL noted, adding Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is allowing “minor students to secretly adopt a new gender identity at school, requiring all staff to treat them as though they were the opposite sex, without parental notice or consent, and even directs staff to conceal this from parents in various ways.”

According to WILL, Grimm said a child’s gender identity choice is simply a “curriculum” decision “that school districts may not only exclude parents from, but also hide from them.”

“We have seen policies like this in school districts across the country, and they all violate parents’ constitutional rights,” said WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg. “It’s up to the parents to raise their child, not school staff.”

“As an ally and licensed psychologist with over 40 years of experience, I have seen hundreds of children and adolescents for gender-identity-related issues—many of whom transition, with my guidance and support,” Anderson said in a statement. “But a transition is a major event in a youth’s life, and parents must be involved.”

According to an interview in January at Quillette, Anderson resigned from USPATH in 2021 after expressing her disagreement with the organization’s proposed six-month moratorium on speaking to the press regarding the eighth version of its Standards of Care.

The psychologist apparently expressed concern that the “gender-affirming” care model approach to children who claim discomfort with their biological sex was increasingly excluding parents.

Anderson had read Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, and, unlike many in the transgender activism movement, was open to the author’s concerns about the rising numbers of girls seeking gender transition.

Quillette reported:

Dr. Anderson—who transitioned to living as a woman after growing up as a boy scout and church group leader in suburban Minnesota—told Shrier that she’d submitted a co-authored op-ed to the New York Times “warning that many transgender healthcare providers were treating kids recklessly.”

While the Times did not accept Anderson’s op-ed, co-authored by clinical psychologist Laura Edwards-Leeper, the Washington Post published it with the headline, “The mental health establishment is failing trans kids.”

“The main criticism of me is that many in the trans community regard Abigail Shrier as anathema, as a critic of appropriate trans care,” Anderson told Quillette. “I think that’s an inaccurate reading of what she’s written. And I think that it’s a distortion.”

Anderson told Fox News Digital her work has led her to see “instances of family rupture when children don’t advise their parents of what’s going on with them, and then they proceed down a path that sometimes is interrupted only when parents are surprised to learn some of these things.”

“So on all accounts, I am opposed to schools depriving parents of the knowledge of what’s going on with their children,” Anderson added.

In the brief filed by WILL, Anderson argues that social gender transition, whereby a child who claims a gender identity that is incompatible with his or biological sex begins to dress as the preferred identity and uses another name and pronouns, is “a major and potentially life-altering decision that requires parental involvement, for many reasons.”

“It should go without saying, but parents cannot obtain a professional evaluation, screen for dysphoria and other coexisting issues, or provide professional mental-health support for their children, if their school hides from them what is happening at school,” Anderson continued.

“To summarize, no professional association recommends that teachers and school officials, who have no expertise whatsoever in these issues, should facilitate a social transition while at school, treating minors as if they are really the opposite sex, in secret from their parents, solely because they are concerned that their parents might not be ‘supportive’ of a transition,” the psychologist asserted.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Erica Anderson” by Erica Anderson.


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