As kids come back from summer break, many school districts across the country have adopted broader policies regarding gender-inclusive pronouns and restrooms.
School districts in Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, and Florida, among others have all adopted or proposed policies last year that are more in line with the transgender agenda.
Transgenderism is just the latest battleground in an increasingly hostile culture war. Transgender Americans represent just 0.6% percent of the population, according to a 2017 poll from Gallup, but they take up an extremely disproportionate amount of space in the debates over politics and culture in America. (RELATED: Health And Human Services Department To Roll Back Obama-Era Transgender Rule)
Gender dysphoria burst into the mainstream in 2015 when Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner and received praise and adoration from the national press, including an “Arthur Ashe Courage Award” from ESPN. The next year the Obama administration threatened states with federal funding if public schools did not let students use the restroom that corresponded with their gender identity. Even though the directive was later squashed by the Trump administration, school districts have rapidly changed the way they deal with students confused about their gender. (RELATED: Caitlyn Jenner Has A Message For President Trump. Here’s What She Said)
Just last month, an Illinois Human Rights Commission ruled that a Chicago School district’s policy was discriminatory, because the policy required transgender students to use different changing rooms, even though they still allowed them to use locker rooms in line with their gender identity. That apparently wasn’t enough.
Additionally, Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently issued an executive order that established a 25-member task force to develop policy recommendations that will focus on accommodating transgender students. It’s not hard to see how that will turn out. When signing the order, Pritzker lauded his state as a bastion of “equality and hope,” but not everyone sees the transgender movement in the same light.
After the Arlington, Virginia County school board proposed allowing students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity, a group of concerned parents fired back, claiming the proposal would take away other student’s rights.
School boards across the Commonwealth have spent the Summer months debating transgender issues, after a transgender student at Gloucester High School was denied access to a restroom that corresponded with their gender identity. 20-year-old Gavin Grimm transitioned from female to male during her time in high school, but was not allowed to use the men’s bathroom following her transition. Grimm sued the school board, claiming they violated her Title IX rights, and a federal judge recently ruled Grimm’s favor, although the school board has vowed to appeal the ruling.
School districts across the country are changing (or considering changing) their restroom and locker room policy to accommodate the transgender agenda. Last year, a Tampa Bay school district changed their policy despite angry reaction from some parents, and recently the city of Baltimore City School Board unanimously passed a policy that went even further. Their policy requires schools within its jurisdiction to allow students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, and prohibits gender-neutral restrooms.
Baltimore’s policy also allows students to use the pronouns corresponding with their gender identity, and encourages teachers to ask their students what pronoun they prefer. As a result of this policy, it seems at least possible that teachers who mis-gender one of their students could end up in hot water. The policy also bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and gender non-conforming status.
The issue of transgender people in locker rooms and restrooms has also raised privacy concerns among fellow students and their parents, who are caught in the crossfire of the culture wars. The Supreme Court declined to hear a case earlier this year that had been brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom that alleged that a Pennsylvania School District had violated student’s right to privacy by forcing them to share bathrooms with students of the opposite sex.
The role of public schools in promoting the transgender agenda has not just undermined the privacy rights of other students, but the parental rights of those tasked with raising kids who deal with gender dysphoria.
A USA Today op-ed published earlier this month details the trials of a family dealing with a child confused about her gender. The author of the op-ed says his 14-year-old daughter believes she’s transgender, and that her public school took it upon themselves to affirm her new identity. (RELATED: Matt Gaetz On Transgender Bill: Trump Could Declare Himself First Female President)
“Without telling me or my wife, they referred to her by her new name,” the author wrote. “They treated my daughter as if she were a boy, using male pronouns and giving her access to a gender neutral restroom.”
What the transgender debate often boils down to is the ability of parents to make decisions in the best interest of their children. (RELATED: Colleges And Universities Are Creating A Lost Generation Of Americans)