The liberal media is in an uproar (as one would expect) over the most recent memo coming from the White House regarding “transgender student” access to bathrooms in public schools. The most common phrases I’m seeing and hearing are variations of removing federal protections or the denying of rights. The reality behind what happened this week is, of course, something entirely different. This Associated Press article manages to at least cut through to the facts while invoking some of the same language.
Transgender students on Wednesday lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, as the Trump administration stepped into a long-simmering national debate.
The administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.
Without the Obama directive, it will be up to states and school districts to interpret federal anti-discrimination law and determine whether students should have access to restrooms in accordance with their expressed gender identity and not just their biological sex.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. There is no “new policy” in effect which is denying anything to anyone. This move simply reverses an Obama era mandate which held the hammer of federal funding over the heads of schools which did not toe the line of the last administration’s social justice warrior agenda. This was all accomplished yet again under the auspices of Title IX.
What’s actually happened here is a return of power to the states and municipalities for making such decisions rather than a national mandate coming down from Washington DC. In some ways this probably looks like a good thing since it provides relief to the many school districts which had opposed Obama’s policies but were facing crippling sanctions in the form of losing their federal funding. It’s also worth noting that this week’s memo didn’t actually “change” anything because the federal order is not currently in effect. It’s been on hold ever since a judge in Texas issued an injunction freezing the action until the courts could settle the matter.
That’s where the problem comes in. What may look at first like a positive sign of common sense could actually block the path to a final resolution. All of the current cases awaiting a decision, including the one in Virginia scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court, are based on the previous order issued by Barack Obama. With that order now null and void, the court is provided with the perfect excuse to duck this question and dismiss the case because the original objection is no longer valid.
Is that really what we want? Is this the sort of decision we want left to the individual states and districts, creating a patchwork of conflicting rules which could change every time a family relocates to a new school district? Whether we won or lost I have maintained from the beginning that some sort of final determination should be provided by the courts. Liberal activists have continued to push this idea (absent a single shred of scientific evidence) that gender and sex are somehow unrelated. The media has happily gone along with this narrative at virtually every turn.
Just this morning I was watching a report on CNN which included an interview with the mother of a four-year-old “transgender boy” who was complaining loudly about the new White House policy. In case you missed that, allow me to repeat. A four year old child. Who in their right mind thinks that a four-year-old is in a position to make that sort of decision? This is a liberal activist mother who is setting up her daughter for a lifetime of confusion and very likely an extended and expensive stint on a psychiatrist’s couch.
Assuming the courts bail out on this question, we are returned to a point I have been making for the past year. Winning majorities in both chambers of Congress and retaking the White House is a positive sign for conservatives. But when it comes to question such as this we are reminded why people have to get involved at the grassroots level and put sensible people on school boards around the nation. It doesn’t matter who you sent to Congress if you pay no attention to the people who are setting policy which directly affects the welfare of your kids.