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Maine law could remove children from parents who don't go along with gender ideology

The proposed rule reads that school counselors and social workers "may not be required… to divulge or release information gathered during a counseling relation with a client or with the parent..." as it is deemed to be "privileged communication."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) is considering the addition of a new chapter to its rules regarding the duties of school counselors and social workers, one that could see these staff members assisting children in gender transitions without informing the parents of their child.

Chapter 117 is currently being considered by the MDOE, with the deadline for public comments being November 14. 

Most notably, the proposed rule includes a section regarding "privileged communication," stating that school counselors and social workers "may not be required… to divulge or release information gathered during a counseling relation with a client or with the parent, guardian or a person or agency having legal custody of a minor client."

"A counseling relation and the information resulting from it shall be kept confidential consistent with the professional obligations of the counselor or social worker," the proposed rule continued.

The chapter, entitled "Rules Regarding the Duties of School Counselors and School Social Workers," establishes standards for the duties that these staff members should carry out.

The section states that exemptions from keeping privileged communications from parents must be in line 20-A MRSA §4008(3), which provides exemptions in cases where the child is a "clear and imminent danger to [themselves] or others," and "the client’s condition requires others to assume responsibility or the client."

Exemptions must be provided also under Title 22, Chapter 1071 of Maine’s statutes, entitled the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act.

This Maine law describes that a child may be removed from their parents if a court finds "that remaining in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child."

Guidance counselors and social workers are listed as people required to report when a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.

"Abuse and neglect" of a child is defined under this law as a "threat to a child's health or welfare by physical, mental or emotional injury or impairment, sexual abuse or exploitation," and includes "aggravating factors" like "any other treatment that is heinous or abhorrent to society."

Under the proposed rule, the duties of school counselors are listed as providing a "comprehensive school counseling program," "academic guidance," "prevention and intervention supports," "professional development and support," "leadership team and or clinical team member," "mental and behavioral health supports," and "family and community engagement."

The list of duties states that it is "not exhaustive," and that it "Should not be limiting to the position."

It also states that 80 percent of their time should be spent providing "indirect and direct services on behalf of students."

In regards to school social workers, the proposed rule states, "Clinical school social workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide mental health treatment and individual, group and family therapy."

"School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools to provide a safe, equitable setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence," it continues.

Overarching duties of social workers include student case management and family and community engagement for non-clinical social workers, and mental health evaluations and treatment and crisis assessment, planning, and intervention for clinical social workers.

The rule also lists the scope of work that can be conducted by state licensure.

For non-clinical social workers as a licensed social worker (LSW), this work includes "Engag[ing] in psychosocial evaluation, excluding the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, and conduct basic data gathering of records and specific life issues of individuals, groups and families, assess this data and formulate and implement a plan to achieve specific goals related to specific life issues," "Serve as an advocate for clients or groups of clients for the purpose of achieving specific goals relating to specific life issues," and "Refer clients to other professional services."

For licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), their work includes "Practice social work in a clinical setting without consultation," "Engage in psychosocial evaluation, including diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional disorders," "Engage in clinical private practice of social work."

Like school counselors, at least 80 percent of a social worker’s time must be spect providing services on behalf of students.

Courage is a Habit, an organization that creates "actionable tools & strategies for parents to defend their child from indoctrination in K-12," warned in a recent video ad that this proposed rule could lead to social workers and counselors removing children from their homes if parents don’t affirm their new gender identities.

Warning of secret transitions implemented by school staff, the organization’s video states, "If you dare object to this, you lose your kids."

They noted in a press release that an open public comments section was held on the morning of October 24, 2022, while most parents would be at work.

"The only ones to attend were activists continuing to spread their agenda and how important they are...and of course the usual 'suicide emotional blackmail.' They create the problem and sell their solution," the press release states.

"Chapter 117 takes advantage of a law passed in Maine in 1989 that gives school counselors with a Master’s degree'privileged communication' so they did not have to share information with parents. But back then there were very few, if any, school counselors with a Master’s degree. They were the guidance counselors we all grew up with. If “client privilege” were invoked it was reserved for real abuse. More important, up until about 2014, school counselors were not activists and recruiters for the gender and sex ideology," it continued.

"Today Maine K-12 is plagued with activist school counselors and social workers that continually re-defined the word 'safe' and 'abuse'; if parents do not agree with the gender social contagion, then the parents are 'abusive' and the child is not 'safe'. This is how they are setting the foundation to separate children from their parents."

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