Would you dare not to wear?
A Charlottesville High School (CHS) department chair has made an unusual and possibly improper request of co-workers and underlings.
Using his official school email address, special education teacher Jason Bennett messaged CHS Staff requesting visible encouragement for various sexual minority subsets. Bennett’s specific appeal is for “all staff” to wear “CHS Pride shirts or other attire that show support of our LGBTQ+ Community.”
From: Jason Bennett
Date: Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 1:18 PM
Subject: Sept 23 – Celebrate Virginia Pride
To: CHSStaff <email@example.com>
In Virginia, we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride in both June and September – which is a little unique in comparison to other states. Our Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) will be hosting a table during lunches tomorrow to celebrate members of our school and community who identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. You may have also seen Dr. Gurley’s email this week that referenced the state’s attempt to undermine the ways our school division supports our LGBTQ+ students. I’ve had multiple students stop me in the hallway to express concern over feeling like they no longer have rights as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This is heartbreaking, but I have assured them that CHS and Charlottesville City will always be here to support and empower them.
As a response, and to celebrate VA Pride, GSA would like to ask that all staff members wear either their CHS Pride shirts or other attire that show support of our LGBTQ+ Community. Let’s show our students we will always be here for them!
Jason Bennett (he/him/his)
Dept. Chair, Exceptional Education
Section 504 Coordinator
VTSS Systems Coach
Charlottesville High School
Charlottesville City Schools
Explicit in Bennett’s communique is anticipation that “all staff” will comply—and implicit, that those who do not may be considered part of the “hateful” opposition.
Presumably, Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) Superintendent, Dr. Royal Gurley, is aware of the request, as his September 21 email to all CCS staff (excerpted below) is referenced by Bennett:
Yet another challenge we are facing is that, on Friday, the state announced new draft guidance that would attempt to undermine our ability to support students who identify as trans and nonbinary. And though this guidance concerns our students, we know that proposed changes like this also set a tone for how we welcome and support our staff, parents/guardians, and others who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Legislators have reminded us that these drafts are not final, that the state is bound by previous human rights legislation, and that the community can lift its voice. Even so, let me speak clearly that we will continue to support our LGBTQ+ students, staff, parents/guardians, and others within our school communities.
Clearly, Charlottesville High School officially has adopted a political position (Democrat) in defiance of Governor Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Education’s recent transgender student policy revisions. Known as the 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools, the document (a drastic and rational departure from its predecessor) has sparked outrage and calls for resistance amongst leftist “educators” and their subject students.
In light of these emails and the incontestable direction of Division leadership, serious questions arise for CHS students, parents, teachers, and administrators—as well as for the community at-large:
- Will Charlottesville once again become the “Capital of the Resistance“?
- Will Superintendent Gurley openly or covertly defy state policies regarding transgender students?
- And, will not wearing a specified garment or design brand you a bigot at Charlottesville High School?
In all three cases, the likely answer is yes. Dissenters should prepare to be crushed.