(Thomas Mitchell) – We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. — Barack Obama
If someone wants to drive on the left side of the road, who are we to disdain? Accommodate.
If a tone-deaf kazoo player wishes to join the philharmonic on stage, why should we hesitate? Accommodate.
A week a ago the Elko County School Board refused to allow a 13-year-old girl who “identifies” as a boy to use the boys’ restrooms in her middle school, but instead to continue to use the special education unisex restroom, according to the Elko Daily Free Press. The meeting was packed with parents.
The board did so despite the fact the state Legislative this past spring passed Senate Bill 504, an anti-bullying law which prohibits “blocking access” to “any property or facility of a school” on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression or any other distinguishing characteristic. I warned at the time the law would have unintended consequences.
Assemblyman John Ellison, who voted against SB504, told the board that standards should be set to support all students. “We should consider the privacy of all 9,526 students, not just the four transgender ones,” he was quoted as saying.
Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, who voted in favor of the bill, told the board, “Had I known the provisions for (the bill), I would never have voted for it.”
Since then the board has been notified by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada that it is investigating and may take legal action against the district over that bathroom decision.
The ACLU letter specifically cited SB504 and argued that denying a transgender student access to a bathroom of choice could “create an intimidating or hostile educational environment for the pupil.” It also said forcing “a humiliating ‘accommodation’ of a third restroom” is “detrimental” to the youth.
Accommodation for one, but not for all.
Though SB504 does not impose criminal sanctions, it could lead to students being expelled and teachers and administrators being fired if they “tolerate” bullying, which includes, as you recall, “blocking access” to “any property or facility of a school” on the basis of gender identity.
I thought liberals always preached about how self-interest should be subservient to the common good.
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.
The column was originally published in Mr. Mitchell’s blog.