13-yr-old trans child breaks down after DFPS investigator forcibly removes him from class and interrogates him alone

13-yr-old trans child breaks down after DFPS investigator forcibly removes him from class and interrogates him alone
(Representative Image, Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TEXAS: The mother of a transgender child claimed that on August 30, a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) investigator took her 13-year-old son out of class and questioned him alone. Carol Koe, using a pseudonym, said in a letter sent to the court on Wednesday, September 7, that the DFPS investigator had interrogated her son in a school conference room about "his most intimate thoughts, his family, and his diagnoses" and "whether he was using any performance enhancing medications."

According to the mother's testimony to the court, the interview lasted over an hour. The mother added that her child, who was born a female, was too unhappy to return to class and "had a breakdown." The document is one of several new pieces of evidence that LGBTIQ+ groups have submitted as part of an ongoing lawsuit requesting the court to quash Governor Greg Abbott's directive for DFPS to look into families of transgender children who provide care that was gender affirming.


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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at Uvalde High School on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.  On May 24, 21 people were killed, including 19 children, during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. The shooter, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was reportedly killed by law enforcement.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott's directive against trans children has attracted a lot of flak (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The DFPS investigator informed Koe that she was "under investigation for child abuse for obtaining testosterone therapy" for her son, and that doing so was "illegal," Koe testified to the court. Legislators in Texas failed to adopt any legislation limiting care that was gender affirming during the 2021 legislative session.

Gender reassignment surgery was classified as child abuse by the DFPS in August 2021, with the exception of treating "medically proven hereditary abnormalities of sex development." However, most medical professionals concur that gender-affirming treatment was medically essential but surgery was not necessary. Instead, the majority of therapy involves hormone blockers, which delay puberty.

Koe said in a court document filed on Wednesday that a DFPS investigator had informed her lawyer that the investigator "was not referring to a statute" but rather asked if Koe "was aware of the new laws and procedures recently approved." Following therapy with hormones and puberty blockers under the supervision of a physician, endocrinologist, and two therapists, Koe claims the kid "is now himself again," and the investigator verified she was being probed for physical abuse for providing gender-affirming care to him.

Marchers walk down 5th Avenue during the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City. Thousands of marchers attended the parade route, which started at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ended at Greenwich and Christopher streets. The parade ended at the Stonewall Inn, where New York marchers commemorated the 45th anniversary of the 1969 riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio were in attendance along with grand marshals Laverne Cox, transgender actress and activist, actor Jonathan Groff and Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
LGBTIQ+ have been asking courts to step in and quash Gov Abbott's draconian directive (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

When questioned by WFAA on Friday, September 9, about whether DFPS has officially resumed gender-affirming care investigations and whether it was standard practice for the agency to remove children from classrooms to question them without theirparent's' knowledge and consent, Marissa Gonzales, director of media relations for DFPS, said she could not comment on specific investigations, but she said that out of the 13 allegations the department had received, 12 had been turned into investigations. "Only four of those cases were still pending, and as of Friday, there have been no deletions," she said. 

Gonzales stated on August 23 that eight of the investigations were concluded and three were still ongoing in response to a previous WFAA request. "None of the investigations have resulted in a removal of a child," Gonzales stated. 

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