We have an interesting situation in a nearby town.
A male high school science teacher has begun the process of changing his gender. He informed school officials of his intention last Spring.
He has not undergone any of the necessary operations yet. As part of the process, this teacher, who has been at the school for a number of years and is known by the students as a man, will begin dressing as a woman this September when school starts.
The district said okay.
The district has now held workshops and meetings for parents and faculty, and will hold one for students the first day of school.
So people will understand and accept what is happening.
Parents have the option of requesting that their children not be in this teacher’s classroom. A few have.
A number of parents have voiced support of the teacher and what he is doing.
Those who are not comfortable with the situation have been silent for the most part. But a few who did speak up say they were afraid to say anything because they might be thought prejudiced or be subject to backlash. And they say they know a number of other people who don’t like it, but haven’t spoken up.
But saying that a lot of people oppose it is not the same as those people coming forward. I have no way of telling how many people oppose it. A local columnist, though, did take an informal poll.
71 % of the respondents said the teacher should be fired.
Right, fire a tenured teacher? Obviously they don’t know the power of the teacher’s unions. (I am a teacher, by the way.) Generally the only way to oust a tenured teacher is if he or she commits a crime. And sometimes even that that is not enough.
This does not qualify.
Still, the usual procedure in situations like this - as rare as they are – is for the teacher to transfer to a different school or district where he is not known by his original gender.
For his own good and the good of the students.
It's not clear why this teacher did not do that. Maybe he just felt more comfortable and supported at the school.
Or maybe he is trying to make a statement.
I'm not concerned here with the morality of his decision to change genders. But I have been thinking about his decision to stay in the school and the decision of the district to offer all these workshops and meetings to engender acceptance.
And then I remembered an appropriate G. K. Chesterton passage.
From "The Outlawed Parent" in What’s Wrong with the World:
"Modern education means handing down the customs of the minority, and rooting out the customs of the majority."
Ah. People who switch genders certainly qualify as a minority.
And this sure seems like Modern Education at its most typical.
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