St. Louis Children’s Hospital told Missouri educators to keep student 'breast binding' secret from parents

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Experts at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital advised a Missouri school district to withhold information about students using dangerous chest-compression devices from parents.

A school counselor at Parkway Schools in St. Louis County contacted the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital asking for guidance on how to trans-identified female students who are binding their breasts, reports Fox News.

In an email exchange obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE) via a Freedom of Information request, the counselor explains that there had been a few instances of teenage girls passing out while wearing chest compression devices during gym or music class. The counselor wants to know if informing the parents is necessary given the health concerns, and the expert at the children’s hospital advises against it.

“I know our staff wouldn’t necessarily want to tell the parents but were curious if they HAD to if it becomes a health issue?… The only reason we’d want a nurse, PE, or Music teacher to know is because we had a few instances where a student passed out when wearing one that was too tight (when participating in PE activities or singing and out of breath… Just wanted to put that into context…)” reads the student counselor’s email dated Jan 20, 2022.

A program manager at the Transgender Center provided the counselor with a response from Dr. Sarah Garwood, co-director of the center. 

“I’m attaching a response from Dr. Garwood,” said the program manager.

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