policy change will result in transgender politics plaguing its schools
By Seth Hancock
The Board of Trustees in the Natrona County School District (NCSD) unanimously approved changes to its board policy concerning sexual harassment at its meeting on Monday in Casper.
Although trustees and Superintendent Mike Jennings have stated they have no intention to allow students to use the bathrooms/locker rooms nor compete in the athletic sex-based division of their choice based on their gender identity, they might have just opened the door to it.
Natrona County School Board approves policy change that could result in transgender politics plaguing its schools
The policy change does not reference gender identity, but it does reference updated federal bureaucratic changes made related to Title IX which the federal government interprets to provide a “prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ to encompass discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Transgender politics is the latest problem created by Title IX since its creation in 1972. Because it does not accept the natural difference between males and females, Title IX has led to the elimination of many boy’s/men’s athletic programs at the K-12 and collegiate level and the elimination of scholarships for men because of the quota system that has been created. It’s also led to lawsuits that have shutdown trade schools that are generally more male-oriented, but schools more generally geared to women, like cosmetology, have been left untouched as men have been the main target of Title IX.
Jeanette Ward, a mother of two in NCSD, addressed the board during public comments on Monday.
“If anyone can be any sex they desire, there no longer remains a logical basis for sex-segregated sports or private spaces like locker rooms and bathrooms,” Ward said. She added: “I know some board members and the superintendent expressed that is not the intention here. If that is the case, then there is no reason to adopt this policy. The federal government does not care what Natrona County’s school board policy is. Leave the policy as it is.”
Ward has experience with this. Her family recently moved to Wyoming from Illinois. She served, from 2015 to 2019, on the Board of Education in Elgin-based School District U-46, Illinois’ second largest school district.
“Policies like this were used to justify allowing boys to access the private spaces of girls and vice versa, without informing parents,” Ward said of her time on U-46’s board. “I don’t want to see that happen here, and, as expressed by a few board members the superintendent, neither do you.”
Beyond athletics and the bathroom/locker room issue, Ward expressed concerns this could lead to censorship and compelled speech by forcing students and staff to use factually incorrect pronouns based on another’s gender identity rather than biology.
The board voted on the change without any discussion or debate approving it by a hand-count vote.
However, some trustees did express hesitation at its Oct. 11 meeting. Ward also addressed the board at that meeting.
Trustee Debbie McCullar said at that meeting: “I’m wondering if in aligning with federal regulations we are opening ourselves up to those kind of situations.”
Jennings said the Wyoming High School Athletics Association does not allow for boys to compete in girls sports or vice versa.
Trustee Kianna Smith said the changes were necessary to align with the federal government.
Although government-run schools are supposed to be under local control, they are not as taxpayer-funded districts often submit to the will of the federal government usually for tax dollars to be funneled to them.
Beyond the policy change, several other parents addressed the board with concerns over some of the district’s programs, including Character Strong and Second Step.
Two mothers said that the programs are aligned with Panorama Education, the big education corporation owned by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s son-in-law. That apparent conflict-of-interest was unearthed after Garland ordered the Department of Justice to assist the National School Board Association which called parents addressing concerns with critical race theory (CRT) and mask mandates as being “domestic terrorists” and “right-wing radicals.”
At the NCSD meeting, Mary Schmidt said Character Strong includes tenants of CRT and the 1619 Project and the district has not been transparent with parents about what’s being taught in the curriculum.
“I share your concerns about critical race theory, about 1619 Project, about gender issues in the schools,” said Trustee Clark Jensen after voting for the sexual harassment policy change. “And I appreciate the fact that we have attentive citizens who are paying attention, and we need you to continue to pay attention.”
Jensen added: “We have been assured that none of those things are supported in the State of Wyoming, but we still need to watch.”