Narrowly viewed, the unlawful “guidance” letter issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, implicitly threatening schools that refuse to allow both sexes to access all restrooms, locker rooms, dormitories/sleeping quarters, and probably sports teams, represents a leftist assault on student privacy. But the attack is much broader than that, actually targeting fundamental realities on which human civilization is based.
Rather than write a book on that subject, let’s focus on one strand that should especially disturb parents: The guidance is yet another in a long series of attacks on parental authority concerning the care and education of their children.
The problem goes back decades. Although older Supreme Court cases (Meyer v. Nebraska, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Wisconsin v. Yoder) affirmed the fundamental right of parents to control their children’s upbringing and education, that principle has been eroded – especially as it applies to protecting children from the new and rapidly evolving sexual orthodoxy.
Progressive government embraces the view that the law must facilitate the full self-realization of every person, whether homosexual, transgender, or another of the multiplying forms of “gender nonconformity.” There can be no public preference for heterosexual norms, and schools must practice strict conformity to the nonconformity. If parents’ values – especially religious values – conflict with this new ideological regime, those values must yield.
Long before the recent guidance, courts have upheld such outrages as teaching kindergartners that same-sex relationships are equivalent to heterosexual ones; administering surveys to young children, asking about sexual subjects, personal feelings and experiences, and family relationships; and presenting a vulgar, sexually explicit program to teenagers for AIDS-prevention purposes.
These courts and others have opined that if parents choose public schools, they pretty much relinquish their right to object to what happens in those schools. As one radical federal judge said, parents “have no constitutional right . . . to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.”
Which brings us back to the transgender guidance letter. . . .
Jane Robbins is an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Project. Emmett McGroarty is the American Principles Project’s Director of Education.