School District U-46 Barn-Burner of a Board Meeting

So much to say about Monday night’s barn-burner of a school board meeting in Illinois School District U-46, so little time.

The meeting started at 7:00 p.m. By 6:00 p.m. the meeting room was filled to capacity, and attendees were sent to two upstairs overflow rooms to watch a livestream of the meeting. Approximately 58 visitors spoke, with 37 speaking in opposition to the school board’s decision to allow a student to use the locker room designated for persons of the opposite sex and to do so without telling U-46 parents of this decision. The remaining 21 spoke in favor of these decisions. In the overflow room where I was seated, pro-transparency/pro-single-sex facilities supporters vastly outnumbered anti-transparency/pro-co-ed supporters.

Accusations of hate flew during the lengthy meeting. Well, to be more accurate, accusations of hate flew from the Left to the Right as usual. Leftists accused those who reject Leftist assumptions about modesty, privacy, the meaning of biological sex, parental rights, and gender dysphoria of being hateful. Ad hominem epithets are infinitely easier to hurl than arguments are to make.

Some of the most obnoxious comments were expressed by school board member Veronica Noland, Rich Jacobs, and (my personal favorite) Bartlett High School English teacher (why am I not surprised) Gary Lorber.

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Lorber is also the 1st vice president of the local teachers union, the Elgin Teachers Association.

Lorber’s theatrical performance is a must-see, replete with fallacies of logic (e.g., ad hominem, appeal to ridicule, moral high ground, appeal to emotion, appeal to spite, bandwagon, and strawman). Lorber was shockingly unprofessional, referring to two of his own school board members as part of a “cast of cackling cronies.” His performance included repeated melodramatic proclamations that he will “be there,” wherever injustice—as he defines it—is to be found, and he presumptuously asserted that the students he is paid by taxpayers to teach English are his kids.

Rich Jacobs’ comments too were replete with fallacious reasoning, beginning with misrepresenting Jeanette Ward’s actions and then imputing ugly motives to her by accusing her of “intentionally fanning the flames of hatred.” Now that’s what I call “sickening” bullying.

Jacobs also stated that Mrs. Ward reached out to “fringe political groups known for their hate and divisiveness.” Some questions for Jacobs: What are the names of the “fringe political groups” to which he referred? What makes them “fringe”? What specifically constitutes hatred in Jacobs’ view? Is it the expression of moral and ontological assumptions with which he disagrees that constitutes hatred? Does he believe that love requires the affirmation of every desire, belief, and action held by others? Or is he the arbiter of which desires, beliefs, and actions must be affirmed in order to love others? How is the decision to allow gender-dysphoric students in opposite-sex locker rooms less divisive than opposing such a practice?

Jacobs is the “husband” of homosexual activist and Kane County judge, John Dalton. In 2011, Dalton was asked by the homosexual newspaper Windy City Times, “Are you active in the LGBT community?” Dalton responded, “I have for the last 20 years…worked, whenever the opportunity has presented itself, for equal rights. Some of the things I’ve done more recently include working with the School District U-46, which is the second largest school district in the state.”

Board member Veronica Noland, using Leftist language to convey Leftist dogma, referred to children whose “gender is not the same as the one assigned to them at birth.” News flash for Noland: No one is “assigned a gender” at birth. The objective sex of persons is identified at birth.

Noland implied wrongly that opponents of co-ed restrooms seek to force gender-dysphoric students into restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex. She either didn’t listen to all the speakers or dishonestly ignored their comments, because multiple speakers who oppose co-ed restrooms and locker rooms recommended a compromise of allowing gender-dysphoric students to use existing single-occupancy restrooms.

After claiming to listen to all stakeholders, Noland proceeded to call those who dissent from her ideology “narrow-minded fear mongers.” Nice to see how she “represents” the whole community

Not to worry, folks, in the service of representing “all children,” compassionate Noland will make special accommodations for those non-gender-dysphoric students who don’t want to share private acilities with the opposite sex. Objectively female children have Noland’s kind permission to exit the formerly all-girls locker room and change elsewhere, and objectively male children are similarly permitted to exit the formerly single-sex boys’ locker room and change elsewhere.

Perhaps the most arrogant and ironic statement came from school board member Traci O’Neal Ellis who began with this quote from Anne Bradstreet: “Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.” Ellis futilely attempted to suggest that allowing gender-dysphoric students into opposite-sex locker rooms and restrooms without informing parents constitutes exercising authority with wisdom, and that those who oppose such a decision are exercising authority devoid of wisdom and consequently are “bruising” children.

She further asserted that district policy that prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity” requires the district to allow gender-dysphoric students in opposite-sex private spaces. Such a claim flies in the face of the Illinois Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity” and says the following in its section on exemptions:

Nothing in this Article shall apply to: Facilities Distinctly Private. Any facility, as to discrimination based on sex, which is distinctly private in nature such as restrooms, shower rooms, bath houses, health clubs and other similar facilities for which the Department, in its rules and regulations, may grant exemptions based on bona fide considerations of public policy.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins has worked as the Cultural Analyst for the Illinois Family Institute ( since the fall of 2008. Prior to that, she worked full-time in the writing center of a suburban Chicago high school, where all four of her children attended. She is currently working on bulking up her stick arms by dead-lifting her five grandchildren--one at a time, of course.

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