SAN DIEGO, August 16, 2013 — Amidst strong protests from those who affirm religious or traditional values, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1266, a new law making California the first state to protect the special “rights” of transgender K-12 students.
Such students are now allowed to use any restroom and locker room they prefer. They can also play any sport, even those designated as “girls” or “boys” sports.
AB1266 is enthusiastically supported by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of California.
Not every organization is quite as elated. Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute, an organization which defends the rights of Christians and other conservatives, said the Legislature and governor are spreading “San Francisco values” all over the state.
“The answer is not to force something this radical on every single grade in California,” England said.
She went on to point out that the new law does not require students to prove their gender-identity but instead insists that teachers automatically take students at their word.
“What about the right to privacy of a junior high school girl wanting to go to the bathroom and having some privacy, or after PE showering and having to worry about being in the locker room with a boy?” she asked.
Such concerns are supposedly alleviated by Carlos Alcala, speaking on behalf of he bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco.
Alcala aid, “They’re not interested in going into bathrooms and flaunting their physiology.”
Alcala did acknowledge some problems: “If somebody is a boy or has appeared as a boy for six months of school comes to school one day and says I’m a girl and need to use the girl locker room… I think school officials would have a hard time saying that’s fine.”
But he also admitted that the new law offers no procedure for assessing the situation and perhaps deciding contrary to the boy’s wishes.
“There is nothing in the bill to spell out what the process is,” Alcala said.
England predicts lawsuits from parents of other children who feel their own rights have been ignored.
Randy Thomasson, a conservative from SaveCalifornia.com, dubs the law “insanity.” Speaking with Fox News, he said, “This radical bill warps the gender expectations of children by forcing all California public schools to permit biological boys in girls restrooms, showers, clubs and on girls sports teams and biological girls in boys restrooms, showers, clubs and sports teams.”
Despite such objections, supporters claim the bill will curtail bullying against transgender students.
Elizabeth Gill, Staff Attorney for the California Affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “Public schools have tremendous power and responsibility to protect students from bullying and harassment…Better school procedures and policies to prevent and address bullying will make a safer environment for students who are suffering, and can even save lives.”
Are we really supposed to believe that this is about bullying instead of some liberal agenda to eradicate traditional family values? If bullying is really the true concern, why not just pass a rule against bullying transgenders? Better yet, simply remind students that their schools already have rules against bullying anybody.
Transgenders have a right to be free from intimidation. Unfortunately, in Sacramento’s haste to affirm additional rights to transgender students, the rights of many others have been ignored. It goes beyond the obvious objection of girls who are uncomfortable when there is a boy in the bathroom. We also have the rights of parents to consider. They should not have to send their children to a school that is going to violate their own moral or religious beliefs. And what about the rights of teachers who feel that their ability to be sensible role models is being stifled by this unfathomable nonsense?
Although some children genuinely struggle with their sexual identity, child education is based upon the assumption that kids need guidance. How can a teacher talk about guidance with a straight face when some kindergarten girl says she feels like she’s a boy and the teacher is instructed by law to immediately accept that situation without question?
The new law can be even trickier with older kids, particularly adolescents. Are adults expected to turn the other way when some clever, male teen figures out that political correctness comes with a free ticket into the girl’s locker room? Are we supposed to ignore the possibility of dishonest motives by rolling over and playing dead?
Instead, why not offer a bit of logic? Let’s gently, compassionately suggest to our children that they should not be so quick to ignore their physiology when determining gender. Any remaining confusion can be sorted out by a psychologist rather than being quickly embraced.
It might not hurt to bring God back into the conversation either. Perhaps we are reaping what we sowed long ago when He was by kicked out of our schools. Of course, the moment teachers dare to remind students that God decided their gender for them by creating both male and female, the school will be visited by the ACLU faster than greased lightning.
Welcome to 2013: Discussions about the God do not belong in the public school. Children deciding for themselves what sex they are does belong in the public school.
We are forced once again to recall the words of playwright and poet Emile Cammaerts: “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.”
This is Bob Siegel (with a little help from Emile Cammaerts) making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and columnist. Information about his radio show can be found at bobsiegel.net.
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