DON’T TREAD ON ME
Like anything written by lawyers, we all know the devil is in the details. Almost everything in the model policy sounds ok– trying to strike a balance protecting the rights of students to go to school in an environment free of discrimination and the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. And so my eyes start to glaze over with the rambling legalease and after some nodding in and out, I am on page 16, in Appendix 1, capital letter D, point 1…
(D)(1). Every effort should be made to ensure that a transgender student wishing to change his or her means of address is treated with respect, compassion, and dignity in the classroom and school environment.
OK, sounds respectful.
(D)(2). [School Division] personnel shall refer to each student using only (i) the name that appears in the student’s official record, or (ii) if the student prefers, using any nickname commonly associated with the name that appears in the student’s official record.
(D)(3). [School Division] personnel shall refer to each student using only the pronouns appropriate to the sex appearing in the student’s official record - that is, male pronouns for a student whose legal sex is male, and female pronouns for a student whose legal sex is female.
OK, this ensures that the school respects my parental right to direct the upbringing of my child and how my child is raised. Here it is in the context of the gender I want to raise my child and assuming that the official school record reflects my parental preference.
(D)(4). Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) of this section, [School Division] personnel shall refer to a student by a name other than one in the student’s official record, or by pronouns other than those appropriate to the sex appearing in the student’s official record, only if an eligible student or a student’s parent has instructed [School Division] in writing that such other name or other pronouns be used because of the student’s persistent and sincere belief that the student’s gender differs from his or her sex.
Hold on here. As a parent, I have the right to direct the upbringing of my child and how my child is raised, but now the government is qualifying my right by suggesting that my child has to meet the government’s requirement that this is a “persistent and sincere” belief. Don’t we agree that this is none of the government’s business. It’s my right to bring up my child as I see fit and choose my preference– the government has no right to decide if my child is eligible “because of the student’s persistent and sincere belief that the student’s gender differs from his or her sex.” Hell no. I say (and I hope you will support me) you will call my child by the pronouns I tell you to call my child because I am the parent. If we accept this provision, we are letting the government interfere with our rights by putting conditions on the upbringing of our children.
NOW I’M WIDE AWAKE…AND A BIT FIRED UP...
(D)(5)Any written instruction from a parent or eligible student under paragraph (4) of this section shall be memorialized in the student’s official record and subject to the same retention, disclosure, and confidentiality requirements as the official record itself. The legal name and sex of a student shall not be changed, even upon the written instruction of a parent or eligible student, except as specified in section (C)(2).
CRAP. I AM SO CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED AND NOW YOU ARE MAKING ME GO BACK TO SECTION C, NUMBER 2.
(C)(2). [School Division] shall change the legal name or sex in a student or former student’s official record only if a parent or eligible student submits a legal document, such as a birth certificate, state- or federal-issued identification, passport, or court order substantiating the student or former student’s change of legal name or sex.
WTF! This is government overreach! And this, folks, is how the government tries to control my choice for the upbringing of my child. Every one of these hoops I have to jump through is a step in government control over my parental rights. What happened to parental rights! This policy is an egregious abrogation of parental rights and it’s plainly revealed way down here in the Appendix, after 16 pages of giving lip service to parental rights.
Folks! Even if you are anti-trans or ambivalent about it, I think we can all agree that this is government overreach and while the “model policy” may align with your ideology this time, if we don’t all stand together against this kind of government tyranny, you and your children might be the next victim. Don’t Tread On Me!