web analytics

Lincoln Public Schools

transgender students, gender inclusiveness, gender equality, Lincoln Public Schools, Rachel Terry

Dear Bigot Mom why are you so opposed to the idea of transgender students being treated equal?  I’ve never understood how adults can be mean or uncaring to children but apparently and ironically, bigotry does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity hater, even of small children.

Administrators in Lincoln, Nebraska have begun talking to staff about transgender issues so they can better help transgender students; all students. Some parents are worried the district is promoting an “agenda”; a political one.

“The agenda we’re promoting is to help all kids succeed,” said Brenda Leggiardo, LPS coordinator of social workers and counselors. “We have kids who come to us with a whole variety of circumstances, and we need to equitably serve all kids.”

But some people don’t see it that way, Rachel Terry, a parent in the Lincoln Public Schools District, has taken it upon herself to send emails to the other parents saying LPS is promoting a “gender inclusiveness” agenda and asking them to join her at the Oct. 14 school board meeting. HMMMMM? So, am I to assume that she is anti- gender inclusiveness? Is she really asking parents to join her at a school board meeting today to protest EQUALITY?? Bigotry much??? Life is hard enough for anyone who isn’t a healthy, heterosexual Caucasian male. Why make it harder?

“By sidelining academic teacher training and replacing it with social re-engineering, the LPS administration has placed a higher priority on social reformation than on education,” Terry says in a copy of an “introductory speech” prepared for school board members.

As a school board member myself, not in the LPS district, just let me start by saying we welcome any and all concerns to be brought up at board meetings (no matter how ridiculous they may be) so she is perfectly within her rights to present this at the meeting. However, the only agenda that I see is her fear of gender-inclusiveness. What is she afraid of? It’s not contagious?

Surely, she must realize that if a child is bullied or feels like an outcast for being different, their education will suffer. Just because gender is not an issue for her children, it is for some children. Where is her compassion for these children who need a little understanding? I wonder if she has a low threshold of tolerance for those pesky special needs children too?

Her email to other parents included three handouts she said had been provided to LPS staff, including one titled “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” that, among other things, advised avoiding “gendered” expressions such as “boys and girls.”

The handout suggests opting for more specific terms such as “calling all readers” or “hey, campers.”

Okay, I am not the parent of a transgendered, gay, bisexual or lesbian child (well, not that I know of, my girls are only 7 and 9 so who knows who they might become and no matter who they choose to love I will love them and want them to be treated equal to every other human being) so I’m not sure how parents of these children feel about using gender non-specific terms? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I suppose we could all just be called humans or by our own names and that would work.

I do however have a problem with having the terms boys and girls stricken from my vocabulary because to me it feels like taking shit too far. Just like not being able to say Merry Christmas or God bless you when someone sneezes. I feel like I don’t get offended if someone says Happy Kwanza or Happy Hanukkah. I take it as a term of celebration and good will and I am thankful. I get the underlying “meaning” of it. It’s not something I take so literally that it keeps me up at night pondering my existence or my relationship with my own faith. If someone blesses me, I am not offended. I am thankful because, let’s be honest, someone wishing you well is always better than telling you to go somewhere and die or just not giving a damn at all.

I can’t pretend to know how children who are transgendered feel about being called boy or girl. My personal thought would be that, on the inside, they feel like either a boy or a girl because that’s always been the choices we’ve had. I don’t think the problem is with the terms, I think it’s with the labeling. Why not use “boys and girls” when talking to a group and let the child decide which one applies to them without making a fuss about it.

Student Services Director Russ Uhing said the goal of the administrative session was to help school leaders better understand the issues facing students so they can be welcoming to all students and make them feel comfortable. The handouts, provided by a staff member on a district equity team, were meant only for teachers, not for students or parents. Which leads me to believe that there is a bigot mole on the inside because how else did Mrs. Terry get herands on the handouts to use them against LPS?

These were not meant as rules staff had to follow, but guidelines for how teachers could make students feel more comfortable. It also stresses the impact words can have on others which is particularly important for gay, lesbian and transgender students who are at a higher risk of being bullied, having mental health issues and committing suicide.

I think that LPS is doing a great job trying to change the focus of the conversation. They are trying to be the change they want to see in the world. I commend them. I don’t agree with the stop usage of the terms” boys” and “girls” but I think their hearts are in the right place. As for Rachel Terry, why not try being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Ponder this, like I teach my children, on the inside we are all the same; humans. Why should a label, a color,  whatever our outside looks like define us? Shouldn’t we be commending these children for having the bravery to tell the world who they are? They are living out loud and happy with who they are. Isn’t that enough?

In her email and draft speech, Terry said using taxpayer dollars to promote “the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values” is a serious breach of trust. Wow! I never understand how a true Christian can speak of religious values out one side of their face and spew hatred and bigotry out of the other side. What happened to tolerance and love? Does Westboro Baptist have a school? Maybe Rachel Terry would feel more comfortable enrolling her children there.

What do you think of Rachel Terry’s opinion that transgender students don’t need equality and that gender-inclusiveness is a waste of taxpayer money?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinStumbleuponEmail

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More