On Friday, the Departments of Education and Justice issued a joint letter ordering the nation’s public schools to allow students who identify as transgender to use the restroom, locker room, and changing room of their choice. In addition to the letter, a twenty-five page guidance memo outlined “emerging practices” and implementation tips. The letter does not have the force of law but states that schools found to be in violation risk the loss of millions in federal funding.
My first thought was that this has been brewing for years. In my previous job as an advocate for private, Christian schools in Washington, D.C., we monitored the actions of the DOE in relation to faith-based schools and colleges. We had to be constantly vigilant against overreaching regulations promulgated by the department. We routinely attended stakeholder meetings, wrote letters asking for clarification, gave oral testimony at public hearings, etc.
The sweeping nature of this particular edict did catch me by surprise though. As a former secondary teacher, I have serious concerns about this order and its implications for students and teachers.
- Once you open the Pandora’s Box, there is no closing it.
*We already have 52-year-old married men with families who have decided that they feel like a 6-year-old girls. In that particular case, the man left his wife and 7 children and was then adopted by a family willing to accept his delusion. I can only imagine what high school age boys will come up with to gain access to girl’s locker rooms. The DOE suggests privacy curtains. How reassuring! (insert sarcasm)
- Do children go to school to get an education or to explore their sexual identity?
*We constantly hear about America’s average status among OECD countries and the terrible state of urban school districts like Detroit. Is our biggest concern catering to the less than 1% of students who may identify as something other than their biological sex?
- Aren’t our nation’s teachers dealing with enough already?
*Thanks to the Obama’s Administration Race to the Top program, teachers are already dealing with the disastrous implementation of Common Core. Between the DOE/DOJ guidelines on racial quotas in school discipline and state/federally mandated testing schemes, public school teachers are already under immense pressure and many are choosing to leave the profession. Now they have to be bathroom monitors too?
- How does this help girls who already struggle with body image?
*Don’t girls deserve privacy in their changing areas? Isn’t it difficult enough dealing with other girls? How will adding teenage boys with camera phones to the equation improve things?
- If studies that show the human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25 are to be believed, does it make sense to have immature, hormonal students in various states of undress in close quarters?
- Estimates about sexual assaults on college campuses (1 in 5) have been shown to be under-reported, why would we make it easier for our children to be placed in comprising situations? *Ariel Cohen-“Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the country — especially on college campuses. This often has to do with what will happen once the crime is reported, as there is often not a standard protocol for dealing with the various types sexual assault.”
I’ll close with this thought from Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Family Studies at the Family Research Council.
“Transgender activists see social acceptance as a panacea, but there is no evidence that children permitted to change gender identity will avoid the negative outcomes associated with transgender identification in adulthood, including higher rates of suicide, health problems, and need for psychiatric care. Zucker and Bradley report success in treating children for gender dysphoria, and view failure to offer such treatment as “irresponsible.”
Classifying students as male or female on the basis of their biological sex at birth is logical and objective; classifying them on the basis of a subjective, self-selected gender identity delegates to children a potentially life-changing decision they do not have the maturity to make; and may well be counter to their own best interests.”