How hard it is for mankind to try to change what the law of nature or God provides

December 12, 2017

Will the Indian River School District be the only one?

Will any of the other 18 school districts in Delaware similarly believe that it is parents' responsibility to raise children, not school officials' jobs to override parents' wishes.

So let me get this straight. The head of the Democratic Party in Delaware actually said on the radio the other day that it is perfectly all right for public school officials to either ignore or override parents' wishes for their children.

In this specific case, if a child tells a teacher or principal that he/she is transgendered, but doesn't want his/her parents told, then the child's wishes override the parents' wishes. This child may be 9. Or 13.

"I feel like a girl," and bingo, he's a girl in the eyes of the public schools.

The theory here, according to Jesse Chadderdon, Democratic Party executive director, is that "some" parents are such a mess that they don't know what is best for their child. Perhaps true in a tiny number of cases. We all know of parents who are drunks or parents who are strung out on drugs.

So in response to some small single-digit percent of parents, we pass a state-wide rule that allows all parents' wishes to be ignored or even defied by the schools.

Then there was a letter the other day suggesting that the school restroom issue is no big deal because 1) school restrooms have stalls with doors, ensuring privacy, and 2) boys' restrooms with urinals should just have those urinals ripped out and replaced with stalls. Right?

Not all school restroom stalls have doors. And further, you rip out the urinals and school-age boys will be urinating in places other than in the stalls.

And more. Even if we agree to let teen-aged or younger children change their gender, it's unlikely that this will amount to much more than hormone therapy (for post-pubescent teens). The surgery comes later in any case, but it's unlikely many, or any, urologists will perform the surgery on a child. Some won't even do it for mature adults in the knowledge that some people change their mind after a few years.

Which gets us to the practicalities of all this. I've spent hardly any time in schools in recent years, so I won't talk about that. What I am is a retired Army officer, so I'll talk about those practicalities, which are similar in some ways to school restrooms and locker rooms.

Recently, I listened to a transgendered soldier being interviewed on the radio. He/she (couldn't quite tell from the timbre of the voice) said he/she expended a lot of energy just hiding the fact that she/he was trans. He/she felt liberated last year when President Obama opened military service to openly transgendered soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

It is true, of course, that the services are mostly beyond open-bay barracks and gang showers therein. However, complete privacy is rare, just like in sports locker rooms, and therefore hiding one's gender must be a real challenge. The brutal truth is that modesty is at best inconvenient and at worst impossible. Men and women face the same challenges.

Several years ago, President Obama ordered their transgendered admission, following by a few years the acceptance of gay and lesbian soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

There is one big difference, though. Gay men are still men and lesbians are still women. When thrown together in living arrangements or bathing arrangements, no big flags flap. On the other hand, without surgery, men changing to women are still men, and women changing to men are still women.

So just like being thrown together in a squad tent or bathing in a creek, men and women on school sports teams ride the bus home from an out-of-town game and immediately shed their uniforms and hit the shower. But not all locker rooms have shower stalls just like not all barracks restrooms have stalls.

So now you have a dozen or so guys and one "girl" showering together. I'll leave what comes next to your imagination other than to say it won't work very well for teens.

Or, you have a dozen girls and one guy showering. Different dynamic to be sure, but not ideal, either.

Men feeling like women and women feeling like a man are nothing new in our culture. If we think about it at all, we can usually remember someone in our childhood like this. We accepted that fact whether we realized it or not. What is new here is the idea of persons undergoing gender-change therapies serving in deployed Army units or participating in sports.

It's hard to hide your birth gender when you're spritzing off after your soccer game or bathing in a laundry-and-bath unit, if you're lucky, a creek if you're not.

How hard it is for mankind to try to change what the law of nature or God provides.


Reid Beveridge has covered politics in Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Delaware and Washington, D.C. He is now retired at Broadkill Beach.



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