Another Florida school district is cutting parents out of the loop on transgender school kids and gagging teachers, but this time going after a male P.E. teacher who refused to observe a middle school girl who was claiming to feel like a boy and using the boys’ locker room.
Pasco County schools, a suburban county just north of Tampa, allowed a self-determined transgender female student daily access to the boys’ locker room, without providing any advanced warning to the boys’ parents or to the boys themselves.
This resulted in an embarrassing shock the first time the obvious girl entered the locker room and there were naked boys.
When the male P.E. teacher refused to watch the minor girl change clothes, a school administrator threatened the teacher with placing him on administrative leave. According to Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast, whose organization is involved in the situation, the threatening email said that refusing to supervise the girl would “not be tolerated.”
The Liberty Counsel is a pro-bono national law firm that protects individuals’ rights from a traditional, constitutional viewpoint.
Interestingly, a female P.E. teacher also objected to the situation, but was ignored by school administrators. She has not yet been threatened, and given the publicity now surrounding the school, probably will not be. Those are usually done quietly.
The first time the girl entered the boys’ locker room, she caught “boys (literally) with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl,” according to the complaint letter sent to the Pasco County School District from the Liberty Counsel. Remember, these are 13- and 14-year-old boys just discovering their awkward transition into manhood.
Teachers at Chasco Middle School are banned from discussing the change in policy — not the specifics of the case, which would make sense, but the policy itself. There is no other reasonable term for that than “gag order.”
So the Liberty Counsel letter goes on to explain that the teacher refused to “knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress.” That actually is a both moral and legally sensible move on the part of the teacher. However, school administrators shifted from the threat of administrative leave to a threat to having him “transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”
The situation arose in September, yet the Pasco County parents of 70,000 students in the district have still not been informed of the new policy by the school district, even though the female student still has full access to the male changing facilities. The Pasco School Board also is aware of it and has done nothing.
The reason is not hard to see. LGBTQI activists are organized, well-financed, powerful and intimidating. Very few politicians or even regular people want to be even perceived as going counter to their agenda.
The Pasco controversy mirrors similar transgender secrecy and heavy-handed intimidation on the part of school district officials in Sarasota County, just south of Tampa. (Both Sarasota and Pasco counties are politically red counties. Their School Boards do not seem to be reflecting that.)
At the recommendation of the Sarasota County School District’s LGBTQI Task Force, the superintendent issued “guidelines” to govern how the district’s 50 public schools handle transgender and gender questioning students — starting as young as kindergarten.
The Sarasota County school policy guidelines implement a full-blown transgender protocol allowing students to use whichever bathroom and locker room corresponds with the gender with which they “identify;” and forces everyone else to use the pronoun of the students’ choice. This sounds identical to Pasco’s policy — or perhaps guidelines is the technical terms as the Board did not take action on it.
But maybe the biggest affront is that the Sarasota guidelines also say that parents can not be informed of their child’s decision to identify as a different gender, because some trans activists claim the schools are a “safer” environment than the home. This again seems to be in line with what is going on in Pasco, which suggests that the administrative guidelines are being heavily influenced or even written by trans activists.
In Sarasota, the secrecy along with the general egregiousness of the policy, attracted a lot of controversy. A 31-year-old Sarasota father of a young child not yet in the school system, sent the superintendent a brief email criticizing the guidelines and keeping transgenderism secret from parents.
That parent found officers from the school district’s brand new police force at his door the next day. Nothing came of the officers’ visit, because they realized the letter was harmless. Nonetheless more showed up at the father’s parent’s home and neighbors’ home.
This is a shocking level of intimidation for a local school district, and certainly at least some parents must have got the message: Shut up, sit down and let us handle your children. Or else we may come knocking.
In Pasco, the message sent is similar, but directly to teachers. Shut up and do what you’re told. Or else.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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