If you think the Clark County School District cares about public input, its recently released draft transgender regulations will correct that misconception.
Despite months of parental and student opposition, the regulations are radical and one-sided. Under the proposal, which trustees will consider Thursday, students may pick their own gender identity and which locker rooms in which they’ll change. Transgender students get to choose if they’ll sleep in the same room as boys or girls on overnight trips. That’s because the regulations require “protection of the privacy” of the transgender student.
Want to protect the privacy of your 15-year-old daughter? You can’t. The regulations prohibit school officials from telling you a biological male will be sleeping in her room on an overnight trip.
Curriculum changes are coming, too. “Classroom activities shall be relevant and meaningful to and appropriate for students with diverse gender identities and expressions,” reads the policy. Just 25 percent of district eighth-graders are proficient in math, so what’s obviously needed is making math “relevant and meaningful” to transgender students. These classroom activities could expose kindergarteners to transgenderism.
There’s even compelled speech: “Students have the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity or expression.” Use biologically correct terms and you’ll face discipline. The regulations try to disguise this by saying students will be prosecuted only if their actions meet the state definition of bullying. That’s a fig leaf. State law says bullying includes name-calling, which they’ll define to include using biologically correct pronouns.
The bad news is a majority on the board has tuned out community concerns. For board President Deanna Wright — the likely deciding vote — there’s growing evidence her judgment is compromised by district interventions to help her husband, who’s a district teacher. Students can’t boost her family’s personal income. Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky, using his power to overrule his own HR department, already has.
That means parents and students are going to have to try a new tactic — using the regulations to expose the absurdities that come from elevating a person’s feelings above biological reality. Students who oppose these regulations should go back to school with new gender identities and expressions.
For instance, there’s nothing in the regulations that would prevent a student from announcing his gender is “the most royal, exalted, praised and admired one.” District policy would require his identification badge, yearbook and classroom roster to use that descriptor as his gender. He could even make teachers and students use his preferred pronoun — say, “Your Royal Highness.”
It’s ridiculous and yet required under these rules.
There are more ways to lampoon this. Suppose you discover your gender is “gun ownership is a God-given right” with a pronoun of “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Under this policy, the district would be obligated to punish even the most-hardcore gun grabber for not saying, “Peter was just here. You might find ‘guns don’t kill people; people kill people’ next door.”
Compelled speech isn’t so fun when someone else does the compelling.
The best part is that with your new gender you can force the district to provide “classroom activities” that are “relevant and meaningful” to you. A student with the gender of “we need prayer in school” might decide it’d be relevant to her gender identity to open each class with a prayer. Or a student whose gender is “abortion stops a beating heart” could decide it’s meaningful for science teachers to show ultrasounds of the unborn.
This isn’t about poking fun at people who struggle with a mental illness, which is what doctors called gender identity disorder before politics got involved. They need help and compassion. But it doesn’t help an anorexic teenager to demand that society affirm her sincerely held belief that she’s fat while she starves herself.
If trustees pass these regulations, students should use them to show how absurd it is to put feelings over biology.
Contact Victor Joecks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.