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School Nurse Suspended For Posting About LGBTQ Student Taking Puberty Blockers In Facebook Comment

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A Connecticut nurse has sparked a divisive debate online after she was suspended for sharing personal information about students in her school.

It is unknown which specific Hartford, Connecticut school was affected, but School Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez explained the situation and the actions taken by the schools in a letter sent to parents.

The nurse allegedly sent comments that were “totally inconsistent with what [the school officials] stand for.”

Through a personal social media account, the nurse sent harmful messages that included the health information of students from the school.

The Hartford school nurse expressed anti-LGBTQ statements in a Facebook comment.

Health officials are held to high standards in pursuit of the care of others, including confidentiality. A medical professional is typically expected to protect the information of people under their care. One school nurse seems to have failed the children of her school in this regard.

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Facebook

The nurse, 77-year-old, Kathleen Cataford said in her public Facebook post, "Investigate the school system curriculum... CT is a very socially liberal, gender-confused state."

"As a public school nurse, I have an 11yo female student on puberty blockers and a dozen identifying as non-binary, all but two keeping this as a secret from their parents with the help of teachers, SSW [social workers] and school administration."

Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez said of the post that Hartford Public Schools “does not tolerate any language that could be harmful to our community. The nurse has been put on administrative leave while the district conducts an investigation.”

Some insights about how the school evaluated the post can be gleaned from the superintendent's letter. 

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In the letter to parents, Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez wrote, “Hartford Public Schools strives to provide an inclusive environment where all students feel seen, valued, respected, and heard. We uphold all of our staff to a high standard, entrusting them to be caretakers and leaders in the community”

Online, some people have been defending the nurse.

The school has come under some criticism as social media users have mistakenly claimed that Cataford exposed the school for providing children with puberty blockers without their consent. 

However, Cataford did not make this claim in her comment. She simply stated that the school did not disclose that some of the students identified as non-binary.

Hartford Public Schools are investigating the incident while the nurse has been placed on administrative leave.

It is pretty well-known that health professionals are supposed to keep their patient's information confidential and that includes any medications that the individual might be taking.

At this time, it is unknown exactly why Cataford thought that this post was worth compromising the students' confidentiality.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.

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