Will ‘identity badges’ or patches soon be required?
The conservative media has reported the kerfuffle at the June 22 Loudoun County School Board meeting as a battle over controversial critical race theory-inspired courses. The School Board, for the first time in history according to a long time employee, canceled public comment after the 50th of 259 speakers due to applauding.
This action was heinous. In my time in elected office in Loudoun, as a county supervisor and councilmember in Leesburg, we never cut off public comment, just asked the police to remove the applauders/boo-ers from the room.
However, the issue before the School Board June 22 was actually LGBTQ policies, including naming conventions, which did elicit a lot of testimony, too. Policy 80-40 as it is called was not adopted that night, but will likely be adopted on Aug 10. It’s a state mandate, thanks to Democrat takeover of Richmond in 2019.
Here’s the meat of it:
“LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their consistently asserted gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record. School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity. The use of gender-neutral pronouns is appropriate. Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”
But there is no enforcement mechanism, and neither the state law nor State Board of Education “model policy” spells one out.
One parent of a transgender student suggested to LCPS the following in comments on the policy :
“… I think consequences for staff and students who are in violation with the policy need to spelled out. For example, a teacher’s first reported offense maybe just gets a verbal warning; 2nd offense, maybe retake sensitivity training, 3rd offense is reported in the teacher’s permanent record, etc. …but just saying a staff member or student is in violation is not enough.”
How nice? You refer to a He as a She too many times and you have to undergo “sensitivity training” and then it goes on your record. This why we can only hope Tanner Cross, the Leesburg Elementary School teacher suspended for speaking out against the policy. ultimately wins his case (which LCPS is appealing)
But the policy and state law doesn’t differentiate among grades. While we can assume most of this applies to high school students, as we know, there is a growing movement (of sorts) to support allowing children to “pick their sex.” Hence, a 7 year old or elementary school teacher can be in violation of this policy just as easy as high school kids and staff.
A parent opposed to the policy said this in the comments document:
“Since there is no requirement for hormone therapy to compete as a girl how is this fair to cisgender girls? What if a male identifying as a female takes a spot on a team, how will this correspond with title 9? Will records be allowed for non-hormone therapy treated males who identify as females competing as females? Why can’t males identifying as females compete on the girls teams but their records and placement on the team count against the boys team? For example if a male identifying as a female competes on the girls basketball team their stats be recorded along with the boys team and the boys team lose a corresponding spot instead of stealing one from the girls team? This policy does nothing to keep things fair for girls and tramples their rights …”
There lies the rub.
A number of other school boards in Virginia are grappling with the same issue now because the Democrat-controlled legislature required it in 2020. There is no local discretion to swerve from State Board of Education guidelines, except to make them more liberal.
The law reads: “That each school board shall adopt policies pursuant to subsection B of § 22.1-23.3 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act, no later than the beginning of
the 2021–2022 school year.” The way I read that, NO school board has the authority to NOT adopt the state policy, unless they wish to engage in nullification.
Besides allowing LGBTQ students to use the bathroom of their chosen sex, and to be on the team for their chosen sex if they play sports, these are the naming conventions the State Board of Education is mandating. You can click this link to read the FULL descriptions, but here they are in brief:
• Cisgender: A person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned at birth.
• Gender: A set of social, psychological, and emotional traits that classify an individual as typically masculine or feminine, although the social construct of gender may be more diverse across a continuum rather than as a binary system.
• Gender-expansive/gender-diverse/gender-fluid/gender-nonbinary/agender/gender queer:
• Gender Expression: The manner in which a person represents or expresses their gender identity or role to others….
• Gender Identity: A person’s internal sense of their own identity as a boy/man, girl/woman, something in between, or outside the male/female binary.
• Gender Nonconforming: A person who does not conform to gender stereotypes. Their gender expression differs from expectations associated with the sex assigned at birth.
• Gender Transition: The process of shifting toward living according to their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned at birth.
• LGBTQ+: An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and others.”
• Sex Assignment: A label, generally “male” or “female,” that is typically assigned at birth on the basis of a cluster of physical and anatomical features.
• Transgender: A self-identifying term that describes a person whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth.
I don’t know how any teacher or student is supposed to keep track of all these naming conventions. My guess is they were not devised by medical research, but probably some Leftist social scientist academic seeking to justify his or her Ph.D., and tenure.
I don’t think it’s good for Republicans to oppose a policy to ensure the very few transgender students are treated fairly in schools. It’s the naming conventions and mandate on bathrooms and sports teams that should concern us.
If there is no stop to this “identity politics,” and if our country becomes a socialist state, it will not be long before we all have to wear some kind of Nazi-like “badge” on our clothing or armbands like you see in the picture above.