Public schools in Portland, Oregon may soon adopt policies forcing teachers to support the wishes of transgender students -- even if those wishes are at odds with their parents.
The Portland school board is poised to adopt one of the state’s most comprehensive transgender student policies, one that goes beyond the “bathroom issue” by requiring staff training, using a student’s preferred name and personal pronoun, and taking the student’s side at school if there is disagreement with a parent’s wishes.
Superintendent Xavier Botana said the district decided to act after the Trump administration withdrew in February the Obama-era guidelines that included gender identity under Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools.
“The community and board members rallied to ensure that we, as a school district committed to equity, made clear our commitment to support our transgender and gender expansive students,” Botana said. “Our equity goals state that (Portland Public Schools) is vigilant in supporting each and every student’s particular path to achieving high standards and rooting out systemic or ongoing inequities, and this policy is an effort to do just that.”
The school board will vote on the policy at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Fitzgerald, a senior at Deering High School, said the staff training component is important because that lets students know they can go to any teacher for help – not just a counselor or someone they think might be sympathetic – and everyone will know what their rights are under the policy.
Officials additionally stressed that the new policy will "normalize different gender identities."
While our public schools busy themselves over transgender policies and gender identities, academic achievement continues to lag in the U.S. The most recent results from cross-national tests, from 2015, placed the U.S. a pathetic 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.
Instead of funneling taxpayer dollars into transgender sensitivity training, how about using the money to improve the quality of teaching? Now that's a novel idea!
While countries around the world continue to make strides in education, the U.S. funnels money into inefficient, failing public schools. Rather than identify the causes plaguing our schools -- like teachers unions that make it nearly impossible to fire bad teachers and underfunded math and science departments -- officials focus on issues such as gender identity.
Political correctness is hindering our ability to focus resources and attention on issues that have a profound impact public education.
When will parents, educators, and public officials demand better?