The Obama Administration, as reported last night, has told all schools, essentially, to follow their interpretation of the Civil Rights Act or be sued/fined. Their interpretation is that it includes allowing people who claim to be transgender into the bathroom of their identity. Note, that, per USA Today, it is an interpretation that extends all the way down to the lowest levels of education.
I am not a lawyer. I’m not an expert on civil rights. I’m a school teacher. And, as a school teacher, I can tell you that this is the worst idea the Department of Education has implemented since it decided to tie the Common Core State Standards to federal funding. It is potentially worse, even, given the types of victimization that can occur.
We’re talking about young kids who are at risk of being exposed to voyeurism, exploitation, and perversion… some of it intentional, some of it not.
Social media, which now includes things like SnapChat (where photos and videos can “disappear” after you’ve viewed them), has become a playground for teasing, bullying, and downright maliciousness. It does not take much for a child to be victimized as it is. Teen suicide rates are already on the rise in an epidemic of bullying and cyberbullying. Now, we’re going to add the risk of students being stalked or worse to the already traumatic experience of being a kid in a highly technological era?
That, of course, is the very worst that can happen. The best case scenario, however, doesn’t offer much hope. If you’ve never had the opportunity to work with children, particularly teenage boys, then you have missed out on the modern sex education they don’t mind talking about out in the open.
Children, again because of their access to the Internet through social media, have an increased knowledge and curiosity about sex and sexual situations. In many cases, this can be contained if the student has the sense and the will power. In some cases, however, students want to act out what they have seen and heard from friends, television, movies, and the Internet. What the federal government has done is given them an excuse to do so.
Teenagers are highly sexualized beings, thanks in part to modern media. For better or worse, it’s a reality we have to live in. But, if you’re giving the student a built-in excuse to enter the bathroom where someone of the opposite sex may be, you’re risking students being spied on in the best case. Worst case? There’s the opportunity for students to act out their teenage fantasies in the bathrooms without you knowing.
Modern liberalism seems so bent on making sure that everyone can be happy, and that if it offends or endangers even the smallest segment of society, it must be eradicated. In an era where liberals are also screaming about rape culture on campuses, they are increasing those risks. In an era where sex and sexuality are much more open than they used to be, you are creating the opportunity for students to participate in risky behavior at school.
This is a dangerous precedent. And one responsible adults should know better than to create. I, for one, hope I never come across this in my school, because I know I’ll be one of the ones who tries to put a stop to it.