Sam Brinton, the disgraced non-binary Biden administration nuclear energy official who was arrested for stealing women’s luggage at airports, previously helped create a school policy that encourages hiding children’s gender changes from parents.
Brinton attracted attention for being one of the federal government’s first non-binary officials, but he was fired this week from the Office of Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy.
The 35-year-old, who uses they/them pronouns, was charged with stealing a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase from a Minneapolis Airport in September and another woman’s suitcase from a Las Vegas airport in July. The suitcases and their contents had a combined value of over $9,000, according to police and court documents.
It’s official. As of June 19th, I now serve my nation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy. pic.twitter.com/zLq3Bf97X2
— Sam Brinton (@sbrinton) June 29, 2022
Brinton was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with multiple felonies. He faces up to ten years in prison.
Before his stint in the Biden administration, Brinton worked for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that says it works to prevent LGBT youth suicides. In 2019 while directing advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project, Brinton helped create a model school district policy for suicide prevention.
The model policy, which several states have adopted, says schools should hide suicidal students’ sexual orientation and gender identity from their parents unless the student wants their parents to know.
“When a parent is notified of perceived suicide risk or an attempt, it is essential that the school maintain student confidentiality related to personal information such as sexual orientation or gender identity, especially when the student has not already disclosed to the parent or guardian and does not want it shared,” the model policy states. “Information shared should be restricted to the perceived risk of suicide or facts of the attempt.”
“Disclosing a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their explicit consent can in some cases endanger the student and at a minimum will impair the rapport developed with the professional,” the model continues.
“Through discussion with the student, the principal or school-employed mental health professional will assess whether there is further risk of harm due to parent or guardian notification. If the principal, designee, or mental health professional believes, in their professional capacity, that contacting the parent or guardian would endanger the health or well-being of the student, they may delay such contact as appropriate,” it continues.
Brinton touted the model school policy at the time in a press release.
“In addition, our research shows that more than half of LGBTQ youth are not out to a single adult in school; these policies show LGBTQ youth, out or not, that their school is a safe place for them to learn, and that school staff are prepared to help them in times of crisis,” Brinton said.
The Trevor Project’s model school policy has been adopted at least partially by the state education departments in Arizona and Idaho, as well as local school districts in California, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Other states including Washington and New Jersey have similar policies.
Parents in several states have already sued schools for similar policies, accusing them of hiding their kids’ gender identities or even secretly encouraging their children to change gender identities.