There’s a fight going on in Arlington, Virginia.
The city’s public school system is set to enact a transgender policy that ain’t gettin’ it with a bunch of parents. The policy would allow all students to choose their gender, and the school to keep the children’s identities hidden from their parents.
From the official policy statement as reported by APC:
Information about a students’ transgender or gender non-conforming status, legal name, or gender assigned at birth constitutes confidential personally identifiable and medical information. Disclosing this information to other students or parents or other third parties by an Arlington Public Schools staff member may violate privacy laws, such as the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as constitutional privacy protections. School staff shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s transgender or gender non-conforming status to others, including parents or guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.
It should go without saying: Outside of cases involving what the populace can agree is abuse, any law or policy that allows the government to take precedence over parental rights is really, really messed up.
But wait — there’s more:
According to the proposed cool new way, Arlington students would be able to use whatever bathroom they want, whichever locker room, be able to compete athletically against whatever sex they prefer, and receive the pronouns of their choice in the way they’re addressed.
I must say: Remove the sex component of this — which would give guys access the girls’ locker rooms — and take away the parental rights issue, and you’ve still got yourself a big Whopper of a problem. One of the lessons children and teens need to learn is that, unlike at Burger King, you don’t get it your way (check out the fantastic song in the video below). What in the Sam Hill kind of coddling and accommodation is this?
Parent Maria Keffler got wind of the policy from a friend who came upon it on the district’s website in February. The pair showed up at the school board meeting and were shocked by what they discovered: Representatives from a local transgender activist group were dishing their wishlist to administrators, district officials, and attending students.
Speaking to The Daily Caller, Maria said there was a bit of the ol’ “mum’s the word” going on at the assembly:
“A lot of it revolved around keeping stuff secret from parents.”
Though disallowed from speaking that night, the two women spread the word on the school’s plan. A group of 5 got together in March and formed the Arlington Parent Coalition, complete with a website. They went to board meetings and demanded more info.
And, says Maria, the district lied to ’em.
They were surprised to learn through a freedom of information request that the school had been meeting with activists from the group, the Arlington Gender Identity Alliance, since September of last year.
When five of them met with two administrators in early April and asked about the policy, the administrators said they were just discussing the policy and had not yet written any drafts. A few days later, Keffler obtained two drafts of the policy through a freedom of information request. “They just blatantly lied to us about it,” she said.
The district intends to implement the policy in 2020. It’s set to be approved on June 18th. Parents had ’til May 28th to read the final draft and submit comments online.
Mary Hazzard of the APC told The Daily Caller the whole process was a bunch o’ bull:
“The way they presented it to the public just demonstrates that this was a process that was at the service of a special interest group, not the public. Where was the public engagement?” she added. “No effort, is what this timeline suggests to me.”
Over 170 people have signed a petition to delay the policy.
But according to Maria, many are afraid to speak out:
“Suppression of debate is all over this. Every time we say anything with concern or caution about this policy, and again we’re just focusing on parental rights and girls protections, immediately it’s ‘homophobe, transphobe, hater, bigot.’ And sometimes religious zealot gets thrown in there.”
Apropos, BlueVirginia.us ran their May 12th piece on the story with the headline “Transphobic Arlington Parents Group Sends Letter to Arlington Public School Staff.”
This isn’t Arlington’s first transgender rodeo; see more here.
The specifics of transgenderism aside, I just can’t believe this sort of thing — social, sexual, and cultural ideology — is a part of school. In my view, school should only be about foundational academic subjects.
I miss the days when everyone was just told to shut up and sit down. Now, it seems, schools only say that to the parents.
Transgender stories are certainly all the rage these days. Hankerin’ for more? Here ya go:
Relevant RedState links in this article: here.
Find all my RedState work here.
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