Monday, May 23, 2016
Reiboldt: Obama is attacking our bathroom freedom
This week my mailbox has been flooded with letters from concerned constituents regarding President Obama’s decree on transgender school bathrooms. Concern is huge, and in all of the letters I have received there has not been even one who supports the Administration’s stand on this volatile issue.
In reference to the recent letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary, Catherine E. Lhaman and the United States Department of Justice Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Vanith Gupta, the letter outlined the new Title IX requirements regarding the use of bathrooms in public educational facilities. The letter reads: “As a condition of receiving federal funds, a school agrees that it will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex, any person in its educational program of activities… a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.”
The letter continues, “The Departments… require that when a student or the student’s parents or guardians, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. According to the letter, “…there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.”
It is important to note, however, that Dr. Paul R. McHugh, distinguished service professor of psychiatry and the former Psychiatrist-in-Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital, has given his professional opinion that “transgenderism is a medical disorder that merits treatment.” Furthermore, in my opinion, this new federal government rule—or order, by the Executive branch—was promulgated without the approval of the legislative branch at both federal and state levels.
This directive from President Obama’s Administration which ordered our state to allow public school students access to restrooms or locker rooms of the opposite sex is a very dangerous policy to follow. If we as a society are firm in our intentions to instruct and to train our children on the differences between right and wrong, then we must stand firm against this ridiculous decree from the federal government or any entity that would force state governments to follow it. I believe we should reject this edict without regard to any potential financial cost.
The federal government has again overreached its authority in threatening to withhold federal funding for schools unless they “agree to not treat transgender students differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.” Some call the directive “blackmail” and “just another in a long line of unconstitutional abuses of power with a goal of transforming America from the top down into a politically correct nation, devoid of the morals and values that made our country the greatest nation in human history.”
Most believe, as was stated in one form letter I received, that “gender identification is offensive, intrusive, and totally lacking in common sense.” The letter goes on to say that ordering our state to allow public school students access to the restrooms or the locker rooms of those of the opposite sex is “a dangerous policy and a liability nightmare.” Overall, the majority of Americans’ response is that this directive is “ridiculous, absurd, authoritarian, and an abuse of power.”
Most of the letters I received urge our local school districts in Missouri to completely disregard the Obama Administration’s letter and to maintain an expected level of privacy that protects all students. Others say the real issue isn’t about bathrooms or transgender students at all; they say it is about the liberal left taking another vicious swipe at our country’s freedoms and about their efforts to destroy one more component of those freedoms.
In my opinion, the letter published by the U.S. Department of Education and the U. S, Department of Justice that requires the promotion and the protection of a behavior inconsistent with natural laws, as such, should not be followed.