Figuring out if your child has a gender support plan at school is not always clear-cut.

Nicki Neily, president of Defending Ed, told Catholic News Agency that parents have to start by looking in the right places—often embedded in the websites of school districts or under a school’s “counseling resources” tab.

If a school’s gender policies are not apparent online, she said, it’s time to ask questions. “Ask the teacher, ask the principal: Does this district have a gender support plan in place?”

It’s not just about pronouns, she added. Parents should also ask about school policies on overnight field trips, sporting events, bathrooms, and locker-room access, “so they can make plans and triangulate accordingly,” she explained.

However, a school implementing gender support plans for students behind the backs of parents may not be forthright about their policies on gender ideology.

For Anna, it took extensive time and effort to pinpoint what was going on with her child.

Anna told CNA that she started by trying to understand why there were at least seven other children in her daughter’s peer group who were renamed and reassigned their gender.

“I started to hear very similar statements from my daughter and two others that were just too similar,” she said. “It was like everyone was getting their information from the same place.”

Through messages and online searches on her daughter’s computer and phone, it appeared that all of the students were echoing the same statements.

The real breakthrough appeared when she came across a download that linked to a page on the school’s counseling resources. From there, kids were connected to transgender services—most of them anonymous—putting them on a pathway to get medical-affirming procedures anonymously, Anna said.

Stories like Anna’s are becoming less of an anomaly. Earlier this month, the Independent Women’s Forum reported on a 15-year-old girl living in Alaska whose school “intentionally deceived” her parents by helping her socially transition with a new name, pronouns, and counseling without their knowledge.

A recent UCLA report published in June found that 18% of the transgender population in the U.S. is comprised of children ages 13 to 17 — roughly 300,000 total. That’s up from 10% in 2017.

For parents who are concerned, witnessing signs of emotional distress in a child may not be enough to pinpoint the cause.

Theresa Farnan, a Catholic author and moral philosopher, recommends that parents need to try their best to be actively involved in their children’s schools. Farnan is an advocate of homeschooling, but when public schools are a family’s only option she urges parents to have “eyes on the ground.”

One way parents can do this is by volunteering to work in a school’s transportation office, library, or lunchroom.

“If you‘re volunteering, say on lunch duty, and you’re walking through school heading into the end of May, you’re going to see the pride display,” she said.

Farnan stresses that Catholic parents must discuss these topics with their children.

“You’ve got to establish that open line of communication [and] articulate what the Church teaches,” she added….

The above comes from an August 30 story in the National Catholic Register.