Gender identity has become a topic of great debate in recent time. A controversial issue appearing in many school districts across the U.S. is whether or not to include gender identity education in curriculum. While many schools are making changes to their policies to accommodate the progressiveness of gender identity in our society, the schools often face opposition to any changes they try to make. The main group that is resisting the new accommodations that schools are trying to implement is parents with children in the school districts.
A recent article on WashingtonTimes.com, called, “ Parents Outraged over Fairfax ‘Gender Identity’ Policy” reports on an attempted block on a public school board’s inclusion of gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy. The Fairfax County Public School Board created this new provision to allow the transgender student and staff members to be considered a protected class. A main argument against the policy changes is that parents don’t have ample time to understand the repercussions of the policy change. Board members are pushing to have the policy change postponed.
I disagree that the policy change needs to be postponed because harassment and discrimination of transgender people is a serious issue. Policy changes need to be made immediately to ensure that these people feel safe and protected in learning environments.
Another argument is that taxpayers would bear the costs of any changes that needed to be made once the policy is put in place such as building new gender-neutral bathrooms for school buildings.
However, the school district is public so it’s funded with public taxpayer money. The use of this money for gender-neutral bathrooms is completely justified because it’s at the benefit of the public, specifically those who do not identify with the gender they were given at birth. The article argues the policy will hurt the majority of the students who do not feel comfortable with being in a bathroom with a person with gender identity issues. However right now, students with these issues have don’t have a place to use the restroom without fear of discrimination. In my opinion, this policy change is necessary to ensure that children with gender identity issues do not feel discriminated against in public school.