Trump punts on transgender students, NJ should set policy
President Trump has taken away former President Obama's directive on transgender students' rights in public schools and punted this political football back to the states and even the local level. His completely unqualified Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the Associated Press, "This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities and families can find -- and in many cases have found -- solutions that protect all students."
The issue comes down to boys who identify as girls and girls who identify as boys and which bathrooms they should use in public schools. Then there's the even thornier issue of which locker rooms. This may just be the last frontier of civil rights and one that has only recently even entered into most of the American conscience. Most of us were not even thinking of this issue in the slightest three or four years ago and have had virtually no time to grasp it let alone decide on public policy.
However, the truth is transgender people have always existed just as homosexual people have always existed. Many dismiss a transgender as simply confused or mentally ill and don't bother to take a look at the science. Look up de la Chapelle syndrome, or XX male syndrome, which involves an X chromosome having the normally-male SRY gene. Just one example of many possible reasons for things we used to dismiss as mental illness.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten thinks what Trump is doing is terrible, and says, "Reversing this guidance tells trans kids that it's OK with the Trump administration and the Department of Education for them to be abused and harassed at school for being trans."
Then there's Vicki Wilson. She's with a group called Students and Parents for Privacy. "Our daughters should never be forced to share private, intimate spaces with male classmates, even if those young men are struggling with these issues. It violates their right to privacy and harms their dignity."
A physical male who identifies as female will find no urinals in the girls' room. So they will not be exposing any body parts since they will be inside a stall, as will the other girls. Are we worried about being near a sink with them? The physical female who identifies as male, because of her biology, will not be using any urinals either but will instead be inside a stall.
The next fear parents bring up is how boys can say they identify as girls only to be allowed in the girls bathroom to attack a girl. First of all, a boy would have to show a long pattern of identifying as a girl before a school district is going to accept them as transgender and your average boy is never going to go through all that just to have a chance to get inside the girls room. Second, if it's sexual assault parents are worried about, any straight boy could just barge into the girls' room right now and attack someone if he has criminal intent.
Many school districts in New Jersey have already addressed this issue and have come up with policies. Many have not. Should the state of New Jersey at this point set clear guidelines that schools need to follow? Yes, they should. This issue is not going to go away now that it's here. Setting standards now will avoid confusion and expensive lawsuits later. The quicker we deal with this the quicker we will all be at peace with it someday.
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