“Gender Justice Nevada is an anti-violence group offering direct services and advocacy consciously inclusive of sex/gender diverse persons & communities, including LGBTQIA2 persons, sex workers, persons in BDSM and kink relationships, swingers and polyamorous persons. We are “Queer 2.0,” seeking to stretch beyond equality and honor intersectional diversity.
The above quotation is a telling “mission statement” attached to the bottom of an email, sent by a member of the Clark County School District (CCSD) Workgroup on a Gender Diverse Policy, to a group of other Workgroup members. By including this statement as a tag at the bottom of an email, this Workgroup member was evidently touting his/her ‘day job’ role as a staunch activist in this regional organization.
We will leave it up to our readers to research for themselves, if they choose, the meanings of the veritable alphabet soup of acronyms referenced in this statement. We would caution those who may be easily shocked, however, to not cast too broad of a “Google” search on these matters; that is, unless you are prepared for a fairly graphic display.
The Workgroup reportedly included more than one adherent to this particular activist organization alone. In addition, there were various members of other LGBTQ groups who served on the committee.
Now, it is certainly not our intent to cast judgment on anyone’s lifestyle choice, gender identity or sexual preference. Our diverse American culture is big enough to include everyone, and our country’s founding values ensure unalienable rights to all men, women and every possible combination of the two.
But surely the quote above begs a valid question. Should such ‘shock and awe’ activism actually be invited to a seat at the table in discussing education policies that will affect thousands of young children in the nation’s fifth largest school district? What message does it send to have the Workgroup stacked, as it was, with members of such extreme groups?
In their special meeting last week, members of the CCSD Board of Trustees assured concerned parents that they are dead-set upon finding a middle ground. “I know that there is a concern that, by issuing policy for gender diverse students, we would put other students at risk,” said Trustee Carolyn Edwards, who has been the engineer driving the train of the whole Gender Diversity process over the past year. “I want to assure everyone that is not the intent. If there is a policy, it will address the safety of all students.”
Of course, everybody says that they want that. Everyone says they agree that all of the children should be treated with respect, dignity and be provided with a safe learning environment. There should be no question about that.
Even a conservative parent group like Power2Parent has recognized that something needs to be put in writing on this issue to protect everyone. Something is needed to direct school administrators in handling these difficult situations as they arise.
Power2Parent has even taken Edwards’ thoughts to heart and sought a middle ground where all children can be treated with dignity and kindness.
They have advocated for measures that would ensure privacy and safety protections for, not just transgender kids, but all CCSD students. That would include providing reasonable accommodations in sensitive settings such as restrooms, locker rooms and hotel rooms.
They have also recommended the establishment of a team approach to help with transitioning youth. Such an approach would bring together school administrators, counselors, psychologists, teachers; and, most importantly, parents; to make sure that all of the child’s unique needs are met.
The willingness of this conservative group to thus move toward the center on this matter has shown a good-faith effort and a desire to put the needs of the kids first, behind the politics of adults. It shows that there is a middle ground that can be reached in CCSD policy – and probably should be.
But the current process, as it has been engineered thus far, shows little intent in actually getting to that middle ground. Despite the strong dissenting voice of a majority of parents and community members, the proposals coming from the Workgroup have continued to push a more extreme agenda. If carried to the ultimate conclusion, this track would provide special privileges to a very small minority group, all while steamrolling over the basic rights to modesty and privacy of the majority of students and the fundamental rights of parents to be — well, parents.
How can a supposedly “balanced” workgroup end up so doggedly extreme in its recommendations? How could it have drifted so far from a reasonable middle ground? It is because it wasn’t ever balanced. It is really no wonder that the results from the group were so off-kilter considering that so many of its members were merely there to push a “Queer 2.0” agenda that sought only “to stretch beyond equality and honor intersectional diversity.”
Even as the one side has been willing to give a little in the interest of the best outcome for kids, these extremists have been relentlessly pushing for their social agenda. The result is that the whole discussion has repeatedly shifted far from the center. Thus, concerned and frightened parents have had to return in force, again and again, to provide a political reality check to the out-of-control process.
The very fact that so many representatives of such extreme groups have been included in the Workgroup belies Edwards’ fervently quoth notion that this process has ever been about the kids. It has had nothing to do with kids! Rather it has had everything to do with engineering a radical new social order. And it is all the more despicable that our children, and their schools, were used this way in allowing fringe groups to push their agendas onto the public.
This has to stop now! A cooling off period is needed. It is time to send the activists back home and remove them from a process where they should never have had a place.
And since the CCSD has shown that it cannot be trusted to rationally and objectively handle this important issue (and so many others), the Trustees should utterly back off from it.
Any revisiting of a new CCSD policy should wait for the Nevada State Board of Education to set a reasonable framework for discussion, as it should; and then for the enraged electorate to weigh in severely on the makeup of this astonishing group of CCSD Trustees, as it must!