Transgender Ideology in Public Schools: Parents Fight Back

Transgender Ideology in Public Schools: Parents Fight Back
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good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Family Research Council want to say a word of welcome also to those joining us online this is a webcast live and will be available to view afterwards on FRC org my name is Kathy ruse and I'm the senior legal fellow here at the Family Research Council and it's an honor for me to bring you this fine panel of experts to discuss a very important topic transgender ideology and public schools parents fight back most people believe that gender and sexuality issues are family matters not to be mandated by party politics but unfortunately the fairfax county school board is out of step with most people even before the Obama administration evolved on transgenderism the fairfax county school board voted 10 to 1 to make showers locker rooms and bathrooms and sports teams and even hotel rooms on overnight trips open to the opposite sex students who claim a gender contrary to their biology the board first mentioned its plan to make these blockbuster changes at a meeting on april 23rd 2015 parents after that requested a public hearing on the issue they were denied board member Elizabeth Schultz called for a delay she was voted down the board voted on this policy just two weeks later two weeks after making the announcement public it was not pretty videos of that meeting show an overflow crowd of several hundred parents some shouting to be heard as board members scolded them and told them they were on the wrong side of history now the board assured the public that nothing would change that this measure was necessary to counter harassment and discrimination of transgender students and that the amendment was required by law as it turns out all of these things were untrue and let me say by way of introduction to the reason why we're looking at fairfax county is that it's one of the largest in the nation and it is its proximity to Washington DC makes it sort of a proving ground for issues like this on fortunately many lawmakers in Washington take a close look at what happens to their neighbor in Fairfax County and so it makes sense for us to look at Fairfax so as I said there were these claims made by the Fairfax County School Board none of which was true number one following the change in policy the school board added gender identity and sexual orientation to the students rights and responsibilities handbook a book that all students and their parents are required to sign every year the sex ed curriculum was also changed this is the second nothing will change matter among the numerous examples of age inappropriate and excessively graphic material that goes well beyond what's required by Virginia state law our lessons that speak of children being assigned the sex male at birth but who really have a gender identity of female the lessons include people who transition to living and presenting themselves as the gender that matches their gender identity end quote second point there was no record of harassment of transgender identifying students prior to the policy changes or afterwards a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by a concerned parent seeking information about how many discrimination planes had been filed by students or staff who identify as transgender the board was legally required to respond and its response was that there were no documents relevant to the requests a year after these sweeping policy changes the Obama administration issued its transgender school directive and the Fairfax County Board said see these changes are legally necessary but legal experts refuted that claim then a federal court enjoying the obama letter and now of course the trump administration has rescinded it but still in Fairfax and in many other counties these policies remain notably the school board was sued for illegally creating a new identity category in consistent with state law attorney just josh has Hetzler will likely speak on this the case was recently dismissed for lack of standing now the LGBT Lobby heralds this as a great victory but this case leaves wide open the possibility of future lawsuits against school boards like the Fairfax County School Board as long as there's proper standing a transgender advocate was hired secretly by the school board to develop best practices for system-wide implementation of these policies the school board refused to disclose his name parents learned his name on a gay rights website and we learned more about him but yet the board still refuses to disclose their his report to citizens or even to fellow board members now his recommendations may have appeared in draft regulations that were released last summer that included among other things the creation of affirmation teams of teachers and other administrators to help students transition from one gender to another but in a surprising victory for Fairfax parents on the eve of the vote to implement these regulations the vote was canceled nevertheless over the overall policy remains in full effect and is being implemented school by school right down the road now for two years board members have heard from angry parents who sign up to speak at their bi-weekly board meetings I am one of those parents we have tried to point out the real impact these policies have on real kids and real families and the unintended consequences and that is the focus of our discussion today I am so pleased to introduce the speakers we have for you this afternoon what I'll do is read a bit from each of their biographies and then we'll proceed with their remarks one after another first we will hear from school board member Elizabeth's Schultz who has fought district bureaucrats and the rest of the school board practically alone for three years Schultz is serving a second term on the board for the tenth largest school district in the nation she received the first stand award by Bishop GW Jackson at the National Awakening conference and has received the courage in leadership award by the Virginia Christian Alliance for integrity and education policy and for protecting students and parents rights next we will hear from Meg kil Gannon a parent of children in the fairfax county school system and executive director of concerned parents and educators of fairfax county a 1,000 plus member strong organization of parents and citizens advocating for common-sense family-friendly curriculum and policies miss kil Gannon also serves as Operations Director for parent and child org a parent research group that evaluates sex ed in Fairfax County and informs parents about content and importantly their right to opt out our final speaker is Josh Hetzler a legal expert who has traveled the state speaking at school boards and providing draft legal guidance letters mr. Hetzler is Legislative Counsel for the Family Foundation of Virginia a state policy organization that advocates for life marriage and parental authority religious liberty and constitutional government over the past year and a half since this issue has gained national attention mr. Hetzler has become intricately involved with both the policy and legal efforts at the state and local levels miss Schultz oh we asked you to come to the podium isn't it the sitting is the new smoking so it's better that we stand so so forced for standing so first of all I want to thank you for the invitation to speak today I do want to make clear because I am a sitting elected official but I am here in my individual capacity I don't represent the board in any way but have been invited to speak on this issue and and appreciate the opportunity to go and speak and a good dialogue frankly just about wherever I'm invited I wanted to note that governing school systems particularly large and complex school systems like Fairfax County requires a systemic assessment of impact prior to implementing any large-scale change whether you're talking about curriculum development discipline reform high school start times there's always an approach to assess the problem at hand what is the nature and what is the scope of the problem that is being presented to a Board of Governors like the Fairfax County School Board and how are you going to go about addressing it what is the solution that is being presented by your staff or by the community that is being sought to resolve the issue at hand what Community Engagement is going to be done what are the governance policies or regulations that are in place which would need to be changed or created in order to effect the change that's being presented when boundary changes for individual school are brought to our board for example it often takes more than 18 months to engage the community and assess the impact of what will happen for future children in the pipeline whether or not you're going to incorporate any grandfathering of existing children whether you're going to move children and how long such a boundary will take in addition when you do something like high school later start times that was an effort that took a decade in Fairfax County a full decade of engagement multiple consultants overtime revisiting the issue and understanding the complex impacts that would have in frankly the school district that sits in the nation's worst traffic so those are the types of examples where the nature and the scope of the problem are well explained by staff to a board and there is an extensive community engagement in order to ultimately arrive at a solution it is of significance to note that from origination to full implementation of the adoption of gender identity within fairfax county happened within a matter of weeks those few weeks that were on the calendar led to no community engagement there was no scoping of the problem there was no assessing of what a benchmarking to best practices within fairfax county within the commonwealth of virginia or frankly anywhere else in the country when you look at a situation where you are implementing a change for a hundred and eighty-seven thousand students forty thousand employees which makes with combination of full-time and part-time employees fairfax county the largest employer in the commonwealth of virginia you are setting education policy on its end when you embark on such changes without ever having engaged the public or understanding the the nature and the scope of the problem at hand we as a board did what i call a race to embrace there was a ideological or political objective to be obtained rather than to assess the legal implications the mental health and wellness of our students the safety and security the facility impact and for example New York City I saw just implemented a law that by January of 2018 every single school has to have single single sex facilities for bathrooms single occupancy and the capital needs that would go into that I can't even begin to imagine the the capital needs in Fairfax County our capital renovation plan has a 30-year benchmark to achieve all of the capital needs that are currently within the system that's well beyond you know being able to just on the turn of a dime on six months notice turn and create single sex facilities quickly this issue became polarized that is the unfortunate part about this rather than focusing on the underlying issue which actually was how to best address and how to meet the needs of individual students how to practice good governance what what the needs at the educational mental health and wellness of each individual student are that we meet in every other respect and on what we were going to do in terms of either changing stopping ceasing or doing new things in all 196 schools to this date our board has never had a data-driven discussion about how to meet with compassion appropriately the educational needs of every individual child who comes across our transom our school system is left as a bellwether as a warning that in school boards govern in our country a nexus of issues that involve education curriculum rigor immigration taxes housing all of this comes together at a time where we were handed weeks of a politicized issue and it is unfortunate that this becomes the example to other school systems about how to go about handling and meeting a very highly charged emotional issue like this it isn't that the board or some members of the board including myself did not want to meet the needs of individual students but you cannot shove down the throat of a system parents employees fell students the issues related to gender identity in bathrooms in locker rooms on athletic teams on hotel trips on overnight trips all as came in the Obama administration's Dear Colleague letter a full year later all of these um implications were addressed by the Fairfax County School Board a year in advance of the Obama's Dear Colleague letter and if if we were not able to answer them a year later how would we be able to answer them in the spring of 2015 to this date we still cannot answer them to date individuals and organizations on both sides of this issue are unsatisfied with never having seen a consultant report with not understanding how even today the needs of students are being met both the needs of students who are presenting with gender identity issues and parents who are concerned about the safety and security of their students particularly in revelation of what happened across the river in in Maryland in the Rockville rape case so there are very significant implications for parents to this day for taxpayers to this day for educators to the state and for members of the board about how to practice good governance and we haven't done it so thank you good good good afternoon my name is Meg kill Gannon I'm executive director of concerned parents and educators of Fairfax County two years ago this Sunday this was the school board in Fairfax County voted to allow boys who feel like girls to use showers locker rooms bathrooms and hotel rooms previously reserved for girls only and I was stunned how could something so very extreme have happened and how was it done in two weeks I'm a mom with with four children three are still in Fairfax County Public Schools and I know that it took ten years countless public meetings surveys and impact studies to change the school start times to allow high school kids to start school later than elementary school kids how is this done in two weeks the massive violation of public trust by our school board with one notable exception really cannot be overstated this happened in Fairfax and it can happen where you live so someone needs to do something about this and that someone is you you're the person who has to make a stand this issue scares away most politicians people don't want to talk about gender identity they don't want to think about it they want it to go away and they want someone else to do something about it but there is no cavalry coming you are the one who has to make a stand and when you do other people will join you and together you'll be a force to be reckoned with thank you to the Family Research Council for providing a place where we can meet and map out the stepping stones to change because someone should do something and that someone is you I'm going to explain what we've done in Fairfax County to take a stand against our out of touch and out of control school board I'm going to lay out a five-point plan for parents that could be used anywhere in the country and I'm going to explain three non-negotiables for success I'll talk about this as it relates to Fairfax but you could take this anywhere it's not rocket science it's stuff that people talk about but never actually do when you take this issue on you will be in the line of fire and if you avoid these three pitfalls the non-negotiables you won't be loading the gun for the our side to aim back at you first pitfall or first non-negotiable divide and conquer for all its recent success the LGBT Alliance is fragile trans activists need the gay rights movement to help legitimize them gender identity on its own is a bridge too far separate the T from the alphabet soup America is not ready to give fifteen-year-old girls double mastectomies because they feel trapped in their bodies no one can fault you for wanting to wait a hot minute before we put eight year olds on hormone block hormone blockers to block puberty from happening when these pharmaceuticals have never been tested on children they have unknown long-term side effects and they're potentially sterilizing and possibly cancer-causing consider the 1950s lobotomy fad in psychiatry and compare that to this situation the science is far from settled on gender identity the trans in the gender identity movement are a tough sell so focus on that issue gender identity divide and conquer number two never ever attack LGBT people don't attack trans people and don't attack the parents of trans children we are all struggling to get along in this mean old world and personal attacks are not nice it's not what we're about every prettiman person has dignity and that dignity must be respected attacking elected officials of course they're fair game right but if you attack trans people you become the proof that they need the protections they demand so don't fall into that trap don't play the victim card because in this culture war they are the bullies not the victims so focus on gender identity never ever attack LGBTQ people and if you can help yourself don't use religious arguments it's just not effective there's a mentality that people of faith should go to religious schools and get out of public schools and that's wrong of course because public schools are for everyone but no one wants to hear predictable morality arguments I'm a Catholic convert I teach natural family planning I have strong beliefs and I my beautiful Catholic faith but what is more relevant to most people is a case based on biology and reason secular arguments are perceived as more inclusive and open the door to many other people who really want to engage on this issue it's all hands on deck and we need help from as diverse a coalition of people as we can assemble I've been working with a group of women in an organization called hands across the aisle coalition and it that proves that there's a broad opposition to gender identity if you can leave the religious talking points to the side the feminists in our group make eloquent arguments that gender identity is the ultimate misogyny and it's the erasure of women lesbians in the group are concerned that trancing masculine girls is a kind of lesbian eugenics and guess what all the women in this group agree that gender identity is bad pornography is a scourge prostitution should never be called sex work or legalized who knew we agreed on so much once we get gender identity taken care of I hope we're going to get to work on those issues but for now please remember the three non-negotiables focus on gender identity never attack trans people or LGBT and don't talk about religion so what can you do here comes the five-point plan right educate explain engage empower and elect we want to engage first as a wife and a mother I have so many things that I could be doing right now and so do our volunteers families jobs baseball games piano lessons SAT prep courses but to protect children from these kinds of intrusions and in Justices people must engage go to school board meetings go to school board committee meetings talk to other parents talk to teachers and administrators start a Facebook page or a website follow people on Twitter talk to your State House representatives and congressmen explain to these people that it's just not reasonable to let man into intimate spaces reserved for women you have to be the adult in the room number two educate educate yourself by learning about this you and all the people who lose basic human rights when gender identity rights are artificially imposed educate others by explaining that point zero five percent of fairfax county student body can be accommodated in many different ways that doesn't have to include access to sex segregated spaces they are trans activists in many states operating equality groups we have equality virginia and virginia you need to find out if there's one in your state and whatever they've done you need to try and undo it i'll bet you a dollar there's an equality group in your state right now that's hosting a weekend workshop on gender identity and ministering to the trans community in a church near you sometime soon number three explain explain the gender identity rights only come at the direct expense of others women sexual abuse survivors female athletes forced to compete against men and boys ethnic minorities who culturally value modesty economically challenged children who face many barriers to educational success and don't need one more children with anxiety disorders and on and on and on ask people questions to get them thinking is demanding access to private space is necessary if other accommodations are being made find out what parents think about a female student on an overnight trip who objects to sharing a bed with a biological boy who identifies with the girl should that girl be able to complain because in fairfax county she can be punished and even expelled based on her discrimination against that person on the basis of gender identity instead of being respected this young woman will be re-educated and possibly expelled these policies are unreasonable and they're extreme their totalitarian reasonable people can come to agree on measures that accommodate everyone in power using your newfound knowledge and network of parents and activists reach out to parents who are not aware of the issue our group concerned parents and educators org put together a parent information packet that had background the issue forms for opting out resources for being more involved and we have only volunteers for staff we have no money for printing we made the packet available on our web page we promoted it on social media aren't media we had a few Flyers at back-to-school nights and at PTA meetings the group keep Virginia safe was also born from this debacle keep Virginia safe petitioned the Loudoun County School Board when they were considering assemble gender identity measure this past winter some of the spoke at their school board meeting Prince William County has a vote looming in June of this year and we're ready to help our neighbors in any way possible number 5 is elect wendy when is the next election for your school board who are candidates that share your views you need to elect candidates that share your views and you need to hold them accountable once they're in office donate to a school board candidate host a fundraiser in your home even a simple meet-and-greet for a candidate I'm sure would be welcome get involved in the planning and execution of a successful race think of friends and neighbors who'd be great candidates in 2019 in fairfax county we need people who are not part of the educational industrial complex to become involved we don't need anymore teachers on the school board but we could use a few more parents we need accountants to follow the money we need business leaders who know the value of education for the entire community we need lawyers to revise regulations ex-military officers who have the skills to manage an organization in crisis conservatives aren't known for their activism and education unless it involves inner cities charter school programs or voucher programs and those are great and worthy endeavors we have 2.8 billion dollars a year in fairfax county that's being spent by truly ideological liberals why are we letting the left spend all that money because republicans don't play the small ball maybe you should seriously consider running because someone should do something about this and that someone is you so engage educate explain empower and elect get to work with a small group of very dedicated volunteers you will quickly grow go into a much larger group of parents who are engaged and then what can stop you it's really going to take you this advice is enough to get you started it's a little vague because we're in public and I don't want to divulge any trade secrets but please contact me if you'd like to talk about your particular situation I'm happy to help and just remember someone needs to do something about this and that someone is you hello everybody thank you for coming today my name is Josh Hetzler I'm the legislative counsel with the Family Foundation of Virginia and I believe this is a very exciting time in the law in particular there are a lot of things happening that we haven't seen before in this in this way when it comes to the this issue at Virginia really has been the epicenter of the whole issue in many ways a lot of people think about North Carolina and certainly they've had a lot going on but as their bordering state from a legal front and sort of in in the school boards in particular there's been a lot going on the glausser case which is out of Gloucester Virginia that went up to the Supreme Court and recently was sent back down after the the Trump order reversing a previous guidance document or Dear Colleague letter so that has been ongoing in the courts and it sort of served as the the national case for this issue additionally on the state level we have the Fairfax case actually the case of Lafferty versus Fairfax County Public Schools that I believe Kathy spoke about and that concurrently has been making its way up to the Supreme Court all the way all the while the Gloucester case has been making its way to the Supreme Court so for the past year we've seen these cases getting up to the highest courts in the respective lands and so and not only that but as we've heard the significance of Fairfax having over a million residents is and I think the 10th largest school in the school system in the country really has been a test case and but it hasn't just been Fairfax it's been its neighbors in Loudoun and Prince William and there have been other counties throughout Virginia and the Family Foundation really has been there from the beginning being a part of this meeting with with pastors meeting with parents we've been truly encouraged by some of the the great folks in Virginia what they're doing there are some outstanding school board members that are working with us there are some outstanding parents who are really doing the grass roots work because that's what it that's really what it takes we we began with meeting a number of pastors and parents in the Gloucester decision and have done that in various parts of the state we've sent letters to school boards informing them as to what the law is so there's been a lot of confusion about what the what the law is and depending on who you talk to you're going to hear totally different things but the the issues here and we could spend all day talking about the the legal nuances and I hope maybe we'll get into some of that in the question and answer time but really we've got to two issues on the federal level we've got the title 9 issue specifically the education amendments of 1972 to the to title 9 we're in the administration or the previous administration decided based on the Department of Education sent a guidance letter which really wasn't even a guidance letter in the legal sense it was called a Dear Colleague letter and what they said was basically we are going to reinterpret the word sex to now include sexual orientation and gender identity well that had never been done before and certain and unfortunately in 1972 they didn't think they needed to define the word sex right so there was a question over whether this word was in fact ambiguous and when I went to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals this is what the question was was is it ambiguous and if it is who do we side with who gets deference is it going to be the federal agency who wrote the rules or is it going to be the state or the or the school boards and you know and we gotten some sort of back and forth rulings on this issue and now we'll wait to see what the Fourth Circuit does now so we have that issue and then concurrently in Virginia we have what you may have heard as the Dillon rule and so we've been fighting this on two fronts we're trying to keep it figure out what title nine says and how it applies to everyone and in Virginia specifically we have this restriction on localities where actually I want to read you in fairfax county's words what this means because I found out that Fairfax County a government website has a whole page devoted to what the Dillon rule is and I really like the way they describe it it says it says like other Virginia local governments Fairfax County has limited powers more specifically Virginia courts have concluded that local governments in Virginia have only one those powers that are specifically conferred on them by the Virginia General Assembly to those powers that are necessary necessarily or fairly implied from a specific grant of authority and three those powers that are essential to the purposes of government not simply convenient but indispensable and I particularly like this this line they say it's states the Dillon rule narrowly defines the power of local government it also states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government then the Power has not been conferred so we're going to construe any doubts against the local government so if there's any question then it's that we're going to say they don't have the power to do that in this case we're to say Fairfax County doesn't have the power to expand that which is in its non discrimination or harassment policy to include categories that the General Assembly hasn't included in the Virginia Code and but unfortunately the law doesn't the law doesn't apply itself as someone someone must apply it and at the federal level we had a Department of Education somebody in a some bureaucrat in this town wrote a letter that had no force of law and said this is what everyone in the country has to do now and if you don't we're going to pull all your federal funding right well that's that's power except it has no force of law but it creates fear in Virginia an advisory opinion was issued by our Attorney General and it was very wrong and in a number of ways I would love to tell you all about it but suffice it to say the Attorney General of course said oh you can do this you could do this absolutely ignoring the ignoring Virginia's Dillon rule of course similarly that advisory opinion had no force of law but it's very expensive and it's very hard to try to have a court say what these things are but all that time there was a there was a great political as you know this issue more than others and I'm trying to figure out my time here okay this issue more than others has had great political angst and and and a lot of things have not really been about the law well public officials recognize this and a lot of them are afraid and in the case of Virginia our General Assembly when they had the opportunity to fix this was was unwilling to act and that has been very frustrating but to their credit we have like I said had these two cases vying for their for the Supreme Court of the United States the Supreme Court of Virginia and everybody just sort of waiting what's going to happen and during that time this issue I would say I would describe it as this was hanging by a thread and at any moment the whole issue could could be over because because of the way it was beginning to infiltrate school boards over a lawless letter in Virginia State in and federal and at just the right moment it seemed a new administration came into town and one of the first things they did was revoked that Dear Colleague letter and that has has made the issue sort of calm for a little while now things are still being worked out in the courts and we're going to continue to monitor it but there was a significant change there and what is and what is our takeaway from all of this well I would say the main takeaway is that elections matter if anyone has any doubt about that this issue is a great example about how it's as I said previously laws are not self applying the rule of law is only as good as those who enforce it and uphold it and we have to elect those those people and certainly this issue may be more than other any other seems like it's the simplest thing there is we know certain things about biology and the nature of male and female and we've done certain things forever I don't think anyone that really even thought about this issue before a year and a half ago right wasn't an issue but that those things alone truth and facts have not been enough they're not enough we've got to elect people who have the right values and and who have the courage to uphold them when it's difficult because there's a lot of pressure so with that I'm really looking forward to any questions you all have thank you for having me today did I just change my gender yes I didn't plan that um I'm asking Peter sprig of the Family Research Council to come up and be with us he's senior Feli fellow for Policy Studies and he's worked on the issue of marriage family and sexuality for many many years as we go to questions now we're opening up for questions I would ask you to please state your name and affiliation before you ask your question there will be a roving microphone so please do wait for the microphone so that everybody that's watching online can enjoy your question I would like to start out asking the first question and my question is for board member Elizabeth Schultz when these policies were being debated and really most of the debate in Fairfax has happened after they were already established because we had no notice and no time to object really but since that time of course it's been the subject of almost every board meeting because citizens have come and made it the subject of almost every board meeting until the general agenda goes forward there have been many many many many unanswered questions about the impact of these policy regulations and I'd like to ask Elizabeth specifically at one point I believe you submitted questions I have a document here of I don't know ten pages of questions that have arisen from these policies that from my perspective none of them have been answered questions like how many genders in which genders will be recognized by the school district what are the definitions of those genders will the will the district of Fairfax change grammar instruction to remove male and female pronouns when students or employees are applying for schools are they will they continue to be asked their sex or gender at time of registration and if so why and if not why not and then another one I don't know if what will science classes teach when it comes to chromosomes will they censor out the lessons like the Bill Nye Science Guy program censured a minute and 12 seconds of his program on chromosomes when teaching children about how your mom gives you one x chromosome and your dad gives you an X or Y and if you get a Y you're a boy and every cell in your body has that boy chromosome or those girl chromosomes every single cell is that going to be taught in Fairfax any longer so if Elizabeth could just speak on maybe the unanswered questions or maybe some have been answered I will I will say that so from a governing perspective this is where the the governance role of a school board has to necessarily step away from hyper politicization of the education of children and and when there is an ideology behind an action the ideology is driving the conversation instead of what are the reasonable practices that are going to be entertained or ceased or changed as a result of whatever the change you know is before the board and you're exactly right that there are many questions and you know I'll just read a couple of others because this is this is really where while it's very easy for one side to demonize or label or cast invective into the conversation the reality is is that there are some some pretty basic questions that have to be answered when you're educating children things like you know whether a student would need to present anything from a medical doctor in order to present with an alternative gender or gender identity this is something that was just debated very heavily in France and actually they're going they're going the opposite direction which is in France they're basically saying now you really don't need any medical intervention you don't need to be taking hormone replacement therapy or undergoing any kind of transition whatsoever that you need to respect the individual from the the position that they state but the problem is is that if a student notifies the school administration that they're identifying with an alternative identity gender identity is there an obligation then on the school system to confirm that with the parents what if the parents aren't married what if the parents disagree with what the child says what if one parent agrees with what the child does said but a different parent doesn't and now is the school system thrown into you know a familial issue with the registration of a student are we allowed to ask students anymore what their sex is on a registration form that's on every registration form and if what if we do why are we doing it if it doesn't matter anymore and if we're not under what auspices are we not and and how does that conform to many other issues in federal law another issue is is that if if a student does not pick and select a gender identity that opposite of their gender identity and you know it's a gender and drogyny if they if they consider themselves gender diverse gender fluid under independent gender-neutral gender non-binary gender non-conforming gender queer gender transitioning gender variant intersex neither two-spirit at what point in in their registration process or in the ministry administering of their education how often are is the student allowed to change if a student is quote-unquote gender non-conforming or do they have access to both sets of restrooms do they have access to both sets of athletic teams do they have access to both sets of locker rooms and this is where the individual nature of each student whether the student has special needs whether the student is has a severe disability whether the student is presenting with gender identity questions this there is a lot of complexity at the individual level and so the broad brushstroke for a school system to simply we're just going to acknowledge it how do you just acknowledge it and then actually govern it and and operationalize it when you look at the workload we have a national teacher shortage and it's profound you have homework issues you have sleep issues you have stress in whether or not we're going to have you know teachers in the future even matriculating out of colleges around the country and joining the teacher profession but then teachers are faced with you know issues that even the governing body can't seem to resolve so what does you know what is a teacher with a teacher workload do with a with a set of terms and a set of policies that aren't even made clear by their own governing body how how do you address coaches I mean coaches I mean I don't think anybody realizes how severely underpaid our pocher coaches are there often second career individuals we have federal regulations around dividing that allow sex to be divided around contact sports so if there are contact sports involved and a student is identifying with a different gender identity when federal law enumerates that you can in fact separate by sex then what do you do if it becomes a contact sport now and you have some states that are addressing this at the state level where there is a state level of athletics so some states are allowing contact sport gender identity crossover students and some states aren't and what happens when that presents here so then this becomes a coach's problem and administrators problem a teachers problem at an individual level when we haven't settled as Josh mentioned we haven't settled the the legal implications we haven't settled the regulatory implications at an individual board level and education should return to the to the lowest level but if we can't have these conversations without the invective without labeling then we're never going to be able to govern and it's always going to be you know effectively a hot mess me thank you do we have a question from the audience because I have a lot of them if you don't anybody we have a roving okay wait for the mic if you would and then identify yourself I'm Robert Big B I've been a Fairfax teacher for 18 years now I remember back if you have an association beyond the association is FCPS pride I'm the the president of the LGBT employees and parents correctly um I remember back in 2002 when textual orientation was a question for non-discrimination and it was voted down on speakers to the school board and a school board member if I recall suggested that there be separate bathrooms for gay and lesbian teachers and student because it made people uncomfortable or might be unsafe my question to the Fairfax all here is are you still suggesting that my something is that you're not of course and my other question is if you're not how is this how our separate bathrooms for transgender students different I just we can volunteer unless it's directed to a certain person well I'm assuming I'm assuming mr. Rigby is well known in Fairfax I'm assuming that that may be directed to me I wasn't on the school board in 2002 I actually don't ever even recall hearing that so that's news to me that was a very long time ago and it sounds like it's somewhat conflating the issue because a lesbian or gay individual using a bathroom that conforms to their actual sex is not what's that question it what's that question are you know that the myriad of issues that we've enumerated here today which are you know what do you do about students that are gender fluid gender non-conforming gender transitioning gender or queer I mean that it the real issue is what do you do about bathrooms intimate space facilities Palatine School District is the perfect example that school board made every effort to accommodate a male who identified as female and in fact you know all the way to the locker room and the only accommodation they put up was a shower curtain and that wasn't good enough the shower curtain had to come down and federal government under threat of losing federal funds brought the hammer down on this one small school district and if if the if the most reasonable accommodations cannot be debated in order to achieve and meet the needs of individual students if it's an all-or-nothing policy then it's going to continue to be you know hyperbolic but I think that there is a place in the middle of saying okay you got to conform to some degree of accommodation and if the answer is we're never going to conform to any accommodation we want complete access to contact sports then you're going to have to change federal law if you want complete access to hotel rooms on overnight trips for school students without parents knowledge I think there's going to this is going to continue to be a major battle so I really don't think that something that somebody said in 2002 that I don't even know who it was is really even a part of the discussion that's a perfect example of when you need to just talk about gender identity right focus on this issue don't talk about same-sex attraction don't talk about LGBT we're talking about gender identity and what that means for public schools and don't get distracted by other issues there's a question right over here I have a question with respect to sports to identify your son my name is Bonnie Burkhart I had children go through Fairfax County Schools and it has to do with um people being fluid with their gender in Alaska you had a young boy who was on the girls track team and played one third place in the state championship on the girls side you have girls who are in transition or being pumped through full of male hormones and steroids to become male and competing on teams and steroids are prohibited from sports teams in professional amateur you know venues so whether you're a boy wanting to be a girl or you're born or girl and transitioning to be a boy doesn't this kind of signify the end of female athletics anybody have you comment on that because I think this gets at the issue that someone mentioned that there are actually radical feminists with whom you know we might disagree on a lot of issues who make exactly that point they say that this is the the people who will suffer particularly with respect to the sports issue our biological females will find it difficult to compete with biological males who identify as female and I just want to mention one sort of key sort of way of thinking about this issue it's it's always framed by those who want to change the policies in terms of discrimination the assumption being that somehow you are discriminating against an individual for being transgender but what you really have is two completely different paradigms for how you define who is male and who is female up until now I mean and this may change as the culture evolves but up until now most people have not challenged the idea of certain number of separate facilities and separate activities for males and females but what they are challenging is that how you define who is male or female and I think what we're saying is that certainly at least with respect to certain particular aspects of life and sports is one of them that a person's biological sex is a much more meaningful way of dividing the human race into male and female than their gender identity it's simply because there are biological differences between males and females which influence their speed their strength their effectiveness in athletic competition so you know I think it's a very good point and I think it's good that you're pointing out that if we go if we apply this you know not only in the classroom but to the sports teams and so forth it's biological females who lose I would say that certainly the issue of sports and in particular contact sports is is a major source of concern and in fact it's it the irony is is that we're using title 9 to provide access for males to female sports teams and females to male sports teams when the entire purpose for title 9 was at the outset to protect girls and provide adequate resources for girls and sports and you know I grew up as a girl in sports and at the time the title 9 came out and having participated in that and now being the mother of boys I see that there it there is a a real concern between not just parents of girls but also parents of boys you know all four of my boys have been in contact sports do do we get into who is allowed to tackle whom based on their gender identity do we get into you know Lance Armstrong was drummed off the world stage for the use of basically performance-enhancing drugs and are not hormone replacement therapies in fact that and then do you get to you know girls losing scholarships to colleges who have you know their whole life you know been practicing on a soccer field or practicing in a pool and with the goal to further their education based on you know being student athletes and if if there are student athletes and and they're they provide stewardship over their academics but really it was the combination of their athletics with their academics that was going to get them into college what what is the trajectory that we do to young girls in this country and do you do that too in things like capacity for science you know if if you have a boy who transitions to a girl and has a greater facility for for science and math are they going to win out a spot at Thomas Jefferson High School for science and technology or a spot in a college and university that would have otherwise been acquired by a girl so these are not it's not to conflate or you know Poe can die at any one individual it's to say that their very real underlying issues here and and and they've not been had it's as you know the the you know we've jumped the shark as you will and put the cart before the horse of saying we must do this because it's you the right side of history or you know it somebody proclaims to have the moral high ground and the pragmatic side of how you operationalize these means that individual girl's individual families individual children are going to be the targets of you know expanding one person's rights to the point that it roads another there's a question in the back hello and thank you for this opportunity I'm Laura Miller I'm a mom of three in Fairfax County Public Schools I also went to Fairfax County public school I have a lot of things to say but I'll try to truncate it to this one thing right now I also worry about the athlete that wants to perform so well that they think they're a guy when they're young and they think they want to uh you know be a guy when they're young and in today's culture might say well that's because you are here have some hormones and you'll be fine and there'll be no harm to you and I think that's incredibly dangerous to our young metamorphism girls myself I was a tomboy and I was a state champion athlete and I can tell you I had friends that creamed me still and but they wanted to reach to the top and some of them became Olympians okay I can tell you if we lived during this era where you're probably all been shuffled to the counselor's office and said what you need to affirm your inner feelings we never went through a metamorphosis I can tell you all of us are now moms and we love it and I'm so glad that didn't get affirmed I think there's so dangerous and I need help from national kaleri people because right now we're just like a little ragtag Band militia holding out in Fairfax County but we're getting run over okay I only have so much time and today I have three kids they mentioned that okay and we work I have no money for this but yet I'm going against I feel like it's a national Triss behind this that has been ready to do this the last forty years and it is just steaming us over um this is a beacon of help because I think it's unfair to those that haven't metamorphosed I mean there was just an article from even Huffington Post saying in San Francisco that children even 21 and under don't have brain develop enough to understand the ramifications of their actions the risk assessments and so they shouldn't be even criminalized or punished like adults because they're not ready for adult thinking the brains aren't developed yet and yet our schools are going to affirm in the mouth thousand different ways that you're ready to make life-altering choices to your bodies man or young boy or young girl I think that's just unfair to the children that haven't grown out of this I think any doctor or any parent that allows that to happen ought to be examined they're the ones not the children that's but I'm asking for help from the schools to say not eating in under let them grow up and I'm asking help from the National people we need a Calvary to come in thank you Peter would you well I'm not the cavalry but let me use that as an opportunity to plug a couple of resources that we do offer here Family Research Council and I'm sorry I didn't think until it's too late to put these out on a table but we have a book called the parents guide to the transgender movement in education it I have some copies with me if you want to just approach me afterwards I can give them to you and it's available on line on our website at FRC dot o-r-g advice similar to that that that meg gave earlier but it may be a few more details we have as far as the as far as the knowledge about the larger transgender issue we have a major paper that was published two years ago called under standing and responding to the transgender movement which I co-authored with Dale O'Leary a freelance writer at who has extensive experience writing on this subject that's I don't have cut this is just the executive summary just the executive summary is seven pages the whole paper is 42 pages so you can find that online as well on FRC org and we have a much condensed version called the transgender movement and gender identity in the law which is kind of condensed talking points on understanding this issue the overall transgender issue both the both the science and the public policy I do have a few copies of that with me as well so I hope those will be helpful to local activists thank you thank you so much Peter I let's do one more quick question and then we need to close so right up here in the front thank you good afternoon I'm Reverend Grace Harley a one solitary voice International and I just want to thank the panel and think FRC for hosting this and Laura Miller I don't know if you know me but I think we maybe spoke on the phone oh my gosh I don't know her but we spoke on the phone I helped with a program in the Fairfax County High School's mental health day we had a table where we gave out lots of literature god bless you for being here this is amazing well I just wanted to ask has the school system given any thought to when it comes to the sexual identity I am a former transgender person I was I lived that life for 18 years I want to know has the school system thought about the fact that gender is fluid the thought of being transgendered a person could think that way be that way as a 14 year old and then later began to start feeling their biological sex and if so they're not apt to say well I'm now feeling like I'm female but yet they because they have already established themselves but most importantly sexuality and transgendered does not coincide as far as the same making the same statement you can be a transgender male but you can still want a male you can be a transgender female and you want to be just with FEMA as lesbianism but you now have the up you had the surgery even and I know couples who have done that you know had sex reassignment surgery to be with each other but they're now doing it in a mental other capacity makes no sense but I just want to know what will the school board offer to children and to follow them to see where they are in their psychological makeup because they are identifying now as say a male but yet they are in in the in the hotel room with other males being a male but yet they secretly inside maybe I still being female I mean it's it's all very confusing but I I deal with this every day and I just want to know the school board has to pay attention to that when it comes to sexuality along with that identity because they could be total opposite yeah these are I mean clearly you're identifying very delicate questions but certainly that comes to pass and has been part of some of the questions that have been asked that you know if you were a biological male and you're identifying as a female and you're allowed access into a locker room and you're aroused is that sexual harassment I mean if you post a picture it is somebody just hung a picture in a locker room of an aroused male in a girls locker room that is sexual harassment but now an actual arouse male in a girl's locker room isn't sexual harassment so these are very mean you know I mean it sounds funny but it's not I mean these are very complex issues you know it would with a with a with a male who identifies as female be barred from the male athletic team now that's a different way to think about it now are we if if you have a gender identity other than then your sex now are you barred from participating in things that are you know your actual set and so there are very complex things and why you know unless this is somewhat you know settled in medical science which I've not seen a single doctor come and testify to the school board in terms of you know where they are on the on the medical front I'm you know countries are taking completely different approaches to to gender identity you know children are doing online you know gender assignments for themselves in certain countries do you do that do you allow that as a you know an elementary age child without medical intervention by medical professionals to guide the mental health and wellness of a child in that situation I mean these are very complex issues and you know I'm in a county where I have a close to a 50 million dollar budget shortage that I've got a close and the next in a couple of weeks and think about you know are we doing professional development on gender identity to forty thousand employees where's that money going to come from what happens with a biology teacher who says you know what I choose to refrain from teaching gender identity do they have a a conscientious objector status as a as a science teacher to not teach this you have we addressed that so there there are significant complexities we're we're we're far from arriving at a solution that we've already implemented and unfortunately now we're dealing with the with a fall out of how do you meet the needs of individual employees individual students without this hyperbolic political state that we find ourselves in nationally and locally we are gonna have to let that very good last word be the last word and join me in thanking our panel and I want to thank everyone for attending here and online and we will see you next time thank you

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РАЗДАЙ ДОБРО ЛЮДЯМ | Мотивация
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РАЗДАЙ ДОБРО ЛЮДЯМ | Мотивация

Have you ever had such a thing someone so offended by a word or the act that you have just arms down and do not hunt anything already? Someone told you something blurted out. Specially or without thinking and you have the whole mood gone. There are a lot of …