Shap­ing devel­op­ment of youth

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The Demo­cratic Party is cel­e­brat­ing the new fed­eral di­rec­tive for pub­lic schools to al­low trans­gen­der stu­dents to use the bath­room that cor­re­sponds with their gen­der iden­tity rather than their bi­o­log­i­cal sex, or risk los­ing fed­eral funds un­der Ti­tle IX. Mean­while, the Repub­li­can Party con­sid­ers this de­ci­sion an­other ex­am­ple of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment un­law­fully im­pos­ing its po­lit­i­cal will.

The di­rec­tive sup­ports a ma­jor tenet in the 2012 Demo­cratic Party plat­form to “strengthen the Amer­i­can com­mu­nity.” The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has worked tire­lessly for 7½ years to ad­vance the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der agenda in our na­tion’s pub­lic school sys­tem, and Hil­lary Clin­ton is on deck, ready to do the same.

Democrats are also cheer­ing the re­lease of the Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s guide, “Pro­vid­ing Safe Spa­ces for Trans­gen­der and Gen­der Non-Con­form­ing Youth: Guide­lines for Gen­der Iden­tity Non-Dis­crim­i­na­tion.” It is a com­pi­la­tion of laws, rules and best prac­tices pro­vided by var­i­ous LGBT ad­vo­cacy groups.

The guide rec­om­mends teach­ers not sort stu­dents by “boys” and “girls” as it might cause the stu­dents that iden­tify as “in­ter­sex,” “nei­ther sex” or “gen­der fluid” to feel un­com­fort­able. It also rec­om­mends that teach­ers in­clude gen­der-iden­tity lessons in their course cur­ricu­lum. And of course, teach­ers would need a stu­dent’s per­mis­sion be­fore dis­clos­ing any gen­der iden­tity in­for­ma­tion to “hir” par­ents. (“Hir” is a gen­der-neu­tral pro­noun for his/her in the trans­gen­der lex­i­con.)

Some Democrats might be dis­ap­pointed with the guide be­cause it does not go far enough. Per­haps K-12 stu­dents should be re­quired to as­sume the trans­gen­der mind­set as a home­work as­sign­ment to bet­ter un­der­stand a trans­gen­der class­mate. Or bet­ter yet, each stu­dent could as­sume a new gen­der iden­tity for a se­mes­ter cho­sen from the list of 58 gen­der op­tions de­fined on Face­book. That would be an amaz­ing learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the whole fam­ily.

If you trust spe­cial in­ter­est groups like LGBT to shape the in­tel­lec­tual, emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal devel­op­ment of our youth, vote for the Democrats in Novem­ber. The Demo­cratic Party is anx­ious to ap­point more lib­eral jus­tices to the Supreme Court to en­sure ev­ery child has the right to ques­tion and de­ter­mine their true gen­der in the class­room with­out parental con­sent. Janet Beck, Wal­dorf

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