April 3, 2016
I write today with a very serious message. As a Husband of 17 years, and a Father of seven children between the Age of 1 and 14 (two of whom are daughters) I wish all the information I am about to share with you was just a bad dream. But it’s not – it’s all true. Recently an Advisory Guidance on Gender Non-Conformance (GNC) was issued by the Michigan State Board of Education. At first I was perplexed, and very unfamiliar with the term. But I think when you hear all the facts, you will be as concerned as I am.
At its core, this Advisory Guidance does three things:
1. It seeks to publish a Policy that goes beyond merely preventing discrimination, but rather, encourages confusion and redefines what we have known as biological Sex (Male or Female) by substituting Gender Identity and Expression.
2. Thusly redefined, all manner of “Identity” and “Expression” may now be freely substituted in the remaining analysis, Policy definitions and implementation. This furthers the confusion, creating a sense of urgency to “fix” the problem that the redefinition, substitution, and confusion of terms has now created. (Think, “Rules for Radicals”)
3. Once this artificial confusion has led to artificial crisis, the final step is to unilaterally create new rules to fix the crisis created by the confusion. These rules were not debated and passed in a legislative environment, signed in to law by the People’s representatives. They were created by far removed Bureaucrats who apparently believe in social engineering. The rules in this Guidance:
* Remove the Parent from being involved in the care and well-being of their child, placing the State as the ultimate decision maker.
* Ignores both common-sense and the advice of the American College of Pediatricians
* Creates an environment where use of bathrooms, locker-rooms, and other facilities, is not restricted to settled Biological Sex, but rather, to self-determined Gender Expression and Identity. This in turn creates a legal exposure and even more hurdles for our school systems, that are trying to prioritize how to teach our children to read, write, and do arithmetic.
See the obvious issue? We have enough challenges in assuring the safety and well-being of our children without this solution in search of a problem.
The chief proponent of this Guidance, State Board President, and Democrat, John Austin, was recently asked about the proposed Policy. His response was outrageous.
“According to the State Board’s president, John C. Austin, this wouldn’t normally be fodder for national news coverage. But “somebody organized a national right-wing news blog to run a story designed purposely to whip up the Tea Party base and anti-Common Core crowd,” Austin told Complex over the phone.
So in the name of, purportedly, not marginalizing individuals, Mr. Austin, in one sweeping generalization, attempts to marginalize those of us who’s deeply held personal view have been completely ignored and disregarded in developing the Guidance in the first place?
I have to ask, once this is done, where do we draw the line? If this is applicable to a tax-payer funded school building, why wouldn’t it be applicable to any tax-payer fund Arena or Venue? And if those facilities, why not almost any facility used by the public – airports, community buildings, City Hall? At what point, for logistical and legal and common-sense reasons, do we say ENOUGH? None of us wishes or tolerates bullying or discrimination of a fellow human being. Period. But rather than address this problem, this Guidance multiplies discrimination against all those whose biology is settled. It creates an environment where a 17-year-old boy can walk in to a girl’s restroom or shower with impunity. And the boys parents, and the girls parents, are able to DO nothing about it, and worse, they can KNOW nothing about it either.
We can show compassion and love to all our neighbors and fellow citizens. But if you’ve been a parent for more than 5 minutes, you know it’s not love to say “yes” to everything your child wants or asks for. At some point you must show love by saying “No”.
Now is the time for all Michiganders to tell John Austin and the State Board of Education, “No”.
And thankfully we can still affect the outcome! The period of public comment is now open. Please take a minute let Chairman Austin and the State Board of Education know your opinion on this issue. You can take a moment and email, or fax, or mail a note, using the contact information below. For those of you who would like to call Chairman Austin directly on his cell phone, please email me and I will provide it to you.
From the State Board of Education website:
Input may be submitted online at the public comment site everyvoicecountsmi.org, by facsimile to 517-373-1233, or by surface mail to:
Kim Kovalchick, Supervisor
Michigan Department of Education
Coordinated School Health and Safety Programs unit
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
Friends, this is NOT the time to sit back and hope for the best. Now is the time to take ACTION!
Call or write John Austin and the State Board of Education today. Tell them our teachers and families and schools have more important priorities, like improving reading and math scores, providing safe learning environments, and helping parents, not undermining their authority and ability to protect and care for their children.
Thank you for your attention and help with this important matter. Time is of the essence, and if we work together, we can turn back this poorly crafted and misguided policy.
PS – As I teach my children, WORDS HAVE MEANING, and assumptive language is often a tool of those who see truth as relative. See this excerpt from the Guidance, to better understand the confusion they have introduced:
A number of terms are used in this document that may not be commonly known. A short list of definitions is included below to facilitate a shared understanding. It is not an all-inclusive list.
• Biological sex assigned at birth—a person’s biological sex is a combination of bodily characteristics, including chromosomes, hormones, internal and external genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics. At birth, infants are assigned a sex, usually (assumptive language, emphasis mine) male or female, based solely (Again, assumptive language not based in fact, emphasis mine) on the appearance of their external anatomy.
• Gender identity—a person’s deeply held internal sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender, regardless of the biological sex they were assigned at birth.
• Gender expression—the manner in which a person represents or expresses gender to others, often through one’s name, pronouns, behavior, clothing, haircut, activities, voice, mannerisms, and other distinctive cultural markers of gender.
• Transgender—an adjective describing a person whose gender identity or expression is different from their biological sex assigned at birth.
• Gender nonconforming (GNC)—an umbrella term for people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations of the biological sex they were assigned at birth. GNC people may identify as girls, boys, neither girls nor boys, or some other gender. (Emphasis mine. While we have empathy and compassion for all, this assumptive language indicates that Gender is relative, not fixed. The document further prioritizes Identity and Gender above Biology, based on this assumptive language and relative definition. Without this, no change in policy would be needed.)
• Sexual orientation—a person’s emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to other people. Sexual orientation is not the same as gender identity.
• Questioning—a person’s process of exploring and discovering their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.