We all like to think that once the General Assembly session is over, we can take a breath. Well, March came in like a lion and went out like a lion. At VCA, we spent the month doing mailings about issues and prepared for two events.
Letters were mailed to every Public School Superintendent and School Board Chair in the Commonwealth addressing the new phenomenon of cross-dressing transgendered students attending our public schools. We asked each school district:
This issue of transgendered public school students has barely surfaced in Virginia. We know some schools already have issues, but only two systems – Stafford County and Gloucester County, have become public. It seems other systems are keeping their situations private.
This issue is about to become very public across the Commonwealth. When the general public is made aware that boys are dressing as girls, girls are dressing as boys, and students are using restrooms designated for the opposite sex, there will be a statewide uproar for the School Boards to stand firm against accommodating and normalizing a serious mental disorder.
VCA is already receiving responses from the school systems. Most say they have no such issue in their school and no specific policy regarding transgendered students. We are being supported on this issue by a national organization with a wealth of legal counsel and experience.
A copy of the letter sent to the schools in included at the end of this article. We encourage you to contact your local school board members and ask them to establish and support a policy that requires every student to dress and use the appropriate facilities for their birth gender. Every school system needs to prepare for what is coming and to open the lines of communication for public input into a policy that addresses this issue.
We know that the Gloucester County school system is under threat from the Department of Justice and the ACLU. Our Federal Government is pushing sexual immorality and transgender acceptance on our youth and we must stand firm against it.
Here is the letter sent to each school district:
March 24, 2015
Title including school system
City, State, Zip
In recent months our organization has received notice that several school systems in our Commonwealth are experiencing a new phenomenon that they have not planned for and for which they have no written policy. This new issue is that of making special arrangements to accommodate transgendered students.
I am prompted to write to every public school system in Virginia because the issue is now in the public eye in several localities. The unfortunate situation in Gloucester County has drawn much public attention to the issue of transgenderism activity in our public schools. Circumstances in Gloucester appear to have arisen from the conflict between a desire to conform to an increasingly popular narrative, on the one hand, and the application of sound principles that serve a child’s best interest, on the other.
I do not know if your school system has confronted the issue of transgenderism or not. You may, in fact, be dealing with it currently. If not, I’m certain you see it emerging just over the horizon. Either way, it’s important the public be made aware of your deliberations so that all interested voices can be heard.
In that regard, please accept this as our formal request to be advised of any pending cases involving transgenderism that are presently before your school system. We also want to learn how you are dealing with such cases and request that your response makes clear your procedures. Moreover, please provide a statement of your current policies regarding this issue. If such policies do not exist but are under consideration, we want to be given the opportunity to provide input.
It is our position that children who deal with gender identity confusion must have their individual issues addressed in a compassionate manner coupled with sound medical policy and treatment. Transgenderism is a serious medical mental disorder and the proper response for the child is to recognize the disorder and treat the patient. Accommodation is not the answer, nor is accommodation in the best interest of the child.
A quote follows from an article by Dr. Paul McHugh “Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution: A drastic physical change doesn't address underlying psycho-social troubles” that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 12, 2014. Dr. Paul McHugh is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In the article, Dr. McHugh discusses the most current Science on transgenderism. Not surprisingly, he has a number of detractors, each of whom seeks to malign his convictions. Their efforts rely upon various iterations of the ad hominem defense which, by definition, is void of substance. These arguments should not be permitted to distract your focus from what is the best public policy for both the troubled child and all of the other students in your school system.
“[P]olicy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention. This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.
“The transgendered suffer a disorder of "assumption" like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one's maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight….
“At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered. "Sex change" is biologically impossible. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”
Similarly, we believe that labeling this as a civil-rights matter and encouraging acceptance and accommodation are promoting a mental disorder without truly addressing the mental health of the child.
I welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further if given the chance to do so. For now, however, I request that you furnish me the information noted above.
I anticipate your forthcoming response.
Donald N. Blake
Chairman / President
Virginia Christian Alliance