On January 17th, 2023 the Upper Moreland School District proposed a policy for first reading which states, “All persons, including students, have a right to privacy. This includes keeping a student’s actual or perceived gender identity and expression private,” the policy reads. “Therefore, school personnel should not disclose information about a TGD [transgender and gender diverse] student’s gender identity and expression to others, including the student’s parents/guardians and/or other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure or explicitly disclosed their gender identity in the school setting.” A few parents thankfully had strong words in response to this proposed update.
One parent expressed concerns that trying to make one group feel comfortable will result in making another group feel uncomfortable. Specifically she pointed out that she worries about discomfort her daughter would feel having to share a bathroom with a boy who identifies as a girl. She also expressed concerns regarding the potential motives of that student. This same parent went on to question the display of a pride flag and explained that she has no issue with the flag yet was concerned with the push for kids to identify sexually while they’re young. Going over her time this mama bear even suggested that if pride flags are flown they ought to fly police banners for those who are protecting the meeting. Still continuing on she asked if they would fly a Christian flag for “inclusion” of others in the community.
Another woman began by pointing out that we are created either male or female in the image of God. She stated that to force someone to refer to another person based on that person’s preference is to “compel speech” which would infringe on the first amendment rights of the speaker. She also said that such a policy communicates to students that their value is tied up in what is spoken to or about them by other people. She also highlighted the fact that some studies indicate as many as 90% of children who experience gender dysphoria simply grow out of it and that many European countries who previously practiced affirming care are now becoming stricter about such care. She also pointed out that putting children on the fast track to body mutilation is not loving. Additionally she noted that hiding details from parents violates the 14th amendment right of parents to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children. Continuing on she noted that policies like this are what led to the sexual assault in Loudon County, VA.
Another woman urged the board to rethink allowing anyone to use any restroom they choose. She indicated that she has daughters who will soon start attending school and she wants them to feel safe. She mentioned the sexual assault in the bathroom at Upper Moreland high school last year. She added that she wonders if the school is concerned for the safety of girls in the school and the impact this would have on sports. She noted that this policy would negatively impact title IX protections for females. She said the board ought to be more concerned with educating students in “math, science, English, history” rather than “creating policies that have a misguided focus on gender issues.”
A father started out by expressing his anger through the use of sh%# a couple times. He said his daughter is 9 and asked that they let her be 9. Pointing out that she still believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. He labeled the use of a girl’s bathroom by a boy as “child endangerment.” Additionally he submitted that he has two older children in college who are “doing great” as evidence of his knowing how to raise a child. He urged the board not to make this a fight and instead to do the right thing.