What is Going On at the Federal Department of Education?
Betsy DeVos was a controversial pick to head up the controversial Department of Education. This week conservatives were provided with more reason to find fault with DeVos.
The Washington Post revealed an internal memo sent on June 6, 2017 from Candice Jackson to regional directors of the Department of Education with “instructions” regarding “transgender students.” While acknowledging that President Trump has rescinded the Obama “guidance” that threatened loss of funding to schools if they didn’t sexually integrate restrooms and locker rooms, Jackson reaffirmed that schools should look to Title IX regulations, court decisions, and an Office for Civil Rights “guidance” document for direction.
Jackson’s “instructions” assert that the federal government through the OCR can launch an investigation if a school fails to “assess” whether “gender-based harassment” has created a “hostile” environment for “transgender” students. Jackson includes this silly statement about what constitutes hostility-creating “gender-based harassment”:
…refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred…pronouns when the school uses preferred names for gender-conforming students.
Schools do not use “preferred” pronouns for anyone. Until very recently, no teacher, coach, or administrator in the history of public education has ever asked students what their “preferred” pronouns were. Schools use the personal pronouns that correspond to students’ objective, immutable sex. All students have a sex and that sex never changes. Personal pronouns correspond to and denote sex–not subjective, internal experiences or preferences. Using grammatically correct personal pronouns does not constitute harassment and does not create a hostile environment no matter how much “trans” students may dislike the practice.
Jackson was appointed by DeVos in April to be the deputy assistant secretary for civil rights and also to serve as the acting assistant secretary for civil rights. Jackson is a lesbian who, according to the New York Times, “has been married to her wife for over a decade.”
In an October 2016 article in New York Magazine about the Trump campaign, campaign adviser Roger Stone recalls this conversation he had with Jackson when he was recruiting her to join Trump’s campaign:
“She said, ‘I would love to work with you, but since you’re a conservative, you should know I’m a lesbian’” …. “I said, ‘Are you kidding? Do you think that’d bother me? I’m the world’s biggest libertine!’”
Following that eager assurance of moral dissolution from the infamous Stone, Jackson joined the campaign.
Shortly thereafter, on January 18, she tweeted, “Reasonable LGBT citizens … have reason to cheer POTUS Trump; he’s shifting the GOP.”
And just this past June 2, Jackson retweeted Ivanka Trump’s enthusiastic support for June’s annual month-long celebration of homoeroticism ironically called “pride” month.
In Jackson’s June 6 instructions, she directs her directors to the Department of Education’s “Emerging Practices” document for more help on addressing problems related to students who pretend to be the opposite sex, which in a section titled “How do schools confirm a student’s gender identity,” includes this:
Schools generally rely on students’ (or in the case of younger students, their parents’ or guardians’) expression of their gender identity. Although schools sometimes request some form of confirmation, they generally accept the student’s asserted gender identity.
In a section on communicating with parents, the DOE’s “Emerging Practices” provides a troubling glimpse into the role teachers have assumed in the lives of other people’s children:
- Chicago Public Schools’ guidelines (“Chicago Guidelines”) provide: “When speaking with other staff members, parents, guardians, or third parties, school staff should not disclose a student’s preferred name, pronoun, or other confidential information pertaining to the student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status without the student’s permission, unless authorized to do so by the Law Department.”
- California’s El Rancho Unified School District issued a regulation (“El Rancho Regulation”) that provides that students have the right to openly discuss and express their gender identity, but also reminds school personnel to be “mindful of the confidentiality and privacy rights of [transgender] students when contacting parents/legal guardians so as not to reveal, imply, or refer to a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
In other words, schools are required to be complicit in both facilitating students in their “trans” masquerade and in concealing it from parent or guardians.
“Emerging Practices” also offers this in a section on pronoun use, which should bother all opponents of lying:
A regulation issued by Nevada’s Washoe County School District (“Washoe County Regulation”) provides that: “Students have the right to be addressed by the names and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity….”
If school administrators deem it a student’s right to be addressed by grammatically incorrect pronouns, then these administrators—who are representatives of the government—will deem it a teacher’s obligation to lie. Chew on that for a while. The government is not only compelling speech but also compelling false speech.
Some cultural conservatives, starving for a bit of good news from the education front, are salivating over the crumb tossed their way when representatives from Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council were invited to participate in a Department of Education event on the importance of paternal involvement in children’s lives that took place just before Father’s Day.
The inclusion of these conservative groups has drawn the ire of Leftist groups, including the National Parent Teacher Association which withdrew from the event because of their inclusion and the Human Rights Campaign that histrionically declaimed, “To provide a taxpayer-funded platform for these organizations is outrageous.”
Not to be a wet blanket, but inviting conservatives to participate in a one-day event–that DeVos did not attend and which did not touch on homosexuality–is inconsequential compared to appointing a lesbian to an influential leadership position within the Office for Civil Rights.
The end game for Leftists is the compulsory eradication of public recognition of sex differences in every context for every person. If objective maleness and femaleness have no intrinsic meaning, and if “discrimination” based on both sex and “gender identity” is prohibited, there remains no justification for maintaining sex-segregated spaces anywhere for anyone. And that’s exactly what the “trans” cult seeks. The nation’s schools are just one of their strategic battlefields.
Though DeVos and Jackson may have myriad good positions on other matters related to education, they indisputably do not on school issues related to homosexuality and the “trans” ideology. And when it comes to public schools, the use of public resources to normalize homosexuality and the “trans” cult ideology, which includes a commitment to sexually integrating all private spaces, are among the most troubling issues.
Take ACTION: Call the White House Comment Line to let the Trump administration know how disappointing Jackson’s appointment is.
White House Comment Line: (202) 456-6213
White House Switchboard: (202) 456-1111
Send a message through the White House web-form HERE.
First published at Illinois Family Institute
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