Tuesday night, the Stafford County (Virginia) School Board, prior to voting on whether or not to abide by federal law, took public feedback on a debate over transgender students’ bathroom access. For some background, see Think Progress, which explains:
Hartwood Elementary School, part of the Stafford County school system, started by accommodating the student’s identity. She was allowed to use the girls’ room per her gender identity and in consultation with her parents. When another parent complained, the district’s Executive Director of Human Resources, Rick L. Fitzgerald, released a message on behalf of the district referring to recent guidance from the Department of Justice that indicates that the “sex” protections under Title IX protect transgender students’ use of facilities that match the gender with which they identify. Allowing the fourth-grader to use the girls’ room was simply the district complying with the law.
…The transgender student’s father, Jonathan Adams, also testified. He admitted to having some of the same misconceptions when the child he thought was his son insisted she was a girl. “And then I watched my little girl grow up,” he said. Adams proclaimed that he was “very proud to have a special little girl,” and implored others “not to trade understanding for fear or trade misconceptions for hate.”
Later in the evening, however, the school board voted 6-0 to direct the superintendent to restrict the girl’s bathroom use.
Also interesting were the comments by the public. For the entire debate, most of which involved parents opposed to allowing the transgender student (who identifies as female) to use the girls’ bathroom, see here. The above video is of a courageous parent of two students in the Stafford County school system, delivering an impassioned plea for respect and tolerance for the transgender student. Sadly, her pleas feel on deaf ears…and a cowardly School Board.
Also note that this courageous woman was outnumbered probably 10:1 by Tea Party/Fox/Rush-style speakers (sporting Orwellian “Save Our Schools” stickers – save them from WHAT? a fourth-grade transgender girl who’s not a threat to anyone?!?) at the event. For “highlights” of their ignorant, bigoted, hysteria-infused remarks, see the “flip.”
*”Boys should dress as boys and girls as girls, or at LEAST dress gender neutral.”
*”You’re…inviting…bullying, rape, sodomization, and god forbid anything worse…and possibly leading to death as a medical concern on the other end.”
*”…the school board is prepared to throw away the rights of the parents and the students to support the wants of just a few confused children.”
*”What I don’t understand is for a few select children that the disruption has to be made…you’re forcing it upon our children.”
*”This is dangerous. It’s not only dangerous, but it doesn’t…it shouldn’t be what our democracy is all about. We were founded based off of the fact that all people are created equal…BUT you cannot force the values of other people just in the name of saying that it’s discrimination or anything, because we instill our own values into our children. And please do not try to go in and make this a political matter. It shouldn’t be. It should be as easy as a person is made the way that they are, and that is what we raise our girls to understand, and I don’t want to enter into a conversation with them to be able to try to say why is this person this way? We have male and female. We have men and women. The last time I checked on the bathroom, those didn’t change.”
*”…Who is protecting my two children and the thousands of others that are not protected under Title IX provisions?”
*”What law are we talking about? Is this a federal law that our Congress passed? Or is this just something that Eric Holder, our Attorney General, happened to decree. I would like to know. We are a nation of laws….If it is from Eric Holder, I would like to remind you, this is the only Attorney General who has been held in contempt of Congress.”
*”First of all, our Pledge of Allegiance states that we are one nation under god, but we have ignored that word ‘under.’ Indeed, we are under god’s command. And yes, we are guaranteed the liberty to do god’s will. But when we abuse our liberty and transgress from god’s command, we sin – and yes I said the word ‘sin’ – and sin is not a civil right. Martin Luther King…would be rolling over in his grave at this abomination to defy god and bring sin…into the same footing as human rights.”