Transgender ‘Bullies’ Extort $800,000

Transgender symbol

Transgender restroom sign
Last month we weathered through some arctic temperatures, but for those of us taxpayers with an ounce of common sense, last month is also when hell froze over. That’s when a school district in Wisconsin was coerced into writing a former student a check for $800,000.

Had the student been raped or assaulted on school grounds? No. Had the student been denied an education? No. Had the student been injured at school? No. So why then was Tremper high school in Kenosha, forced to pay a former student close to a million dollars? Because school administrators refused to call the student by the “proper” pronoun, wouldn’t allow her to use the boy’s bathrooms or showers, and wouldn’t let her run for Prom King.

The student, named Ash, was 16-years-old when the pronoun battle began. Ash’s parents filed a federal lawsuit in 2016, which they eventually won on appeal. The Kenosha school district ran out of resources and couldn’t afford to take their case to the Supreme Court, so last month, taxpayers in that district settled with Ash for $800,000.

The payment was a first for this type of case, but the battle has been brewing since 2013 when Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, the parents of an 8-year-old Colorado boy, demanded that their son Coy be allowed to use the girl’s restroom because he identified as a girl. Other similar cases began to spring up across the nation (in states like Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts), and so did legislation and policies that required students to use the bathroom and shower facilities according to their biological gender. As the Colorado school principal suggested five years ago, if a young child has a penis, then he is still a boy, and it wouldn’t be fair to other students to let that child use the girls’ bathroom. All of the parents I’ve spoken with agree with that sentiment. They oppose letting a teenage boy shower with their teenage daughter simply because he “identifies” as a girl.

It should come as no surprise, then, that two weeks ago, the Trump administration decided that the Department of Education would not be allowed to weigh in on, or make policy affecting the use of school bathrooms and showers by students who identify with a gender that is opposite to their biological sex. Had that decision come earlier, and with it the probability of a Supreme Court who would be sympathetic to Kenosha, then perhaps the school district’s wallet would be $800,000 fatter now. Instead, administrators at Tremper high school gave in to the threats of bullies. They buckled to the demands of Ash’s media savvy parents who had enabled and pushed for their daughter to be transgender, then ran roughshod over anyone and everyone whose views ran contrary to theirs.

Increasingly our society seems to have a zero tolerance for bullying, so it is important to note that bullies come in all forms. There are bullies who physically beat up their victims. There are bullies who use social media to shame their victims. And there are bullies, like Ash’s parents, who use threats to obtain something they want. These are the overzealous, publicity-seeking parents who, after coercing their own children to be something they are not, then dare the rest of us not to accommodate their beliefs and demands, or else pay the price.

Last August I wrote about Texas residents Rachel and Frank Gonzales. They began letting their little boy dress up like a girl as early as age 3. Then, when “Libby” was 7, his parents challenged the Lone Star State’s school bathroom policies on his behalf. I wondered at the time if such gender-enabling by parents was actually harmful to the child, and I discovered that, according to a number of experts, it is.

Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins, told that young children who are pushed by parents to act in conflict with their biological sex, suffer a mental “disorder of assumption.” Moreover, left to their own devices, young kids who are conflicted about gender, grow out of the confusion. In fact, studies by Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic found that 70% to 80% of children who express transgender feelings, “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Dr. Ken Zucker, head of the Gender Identity Service at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, concurs. Zucker told the Globe & Mail, “About three-fourths of little kids who have issues with their gender will be comfortable with it by adolescence, …or grow up to be gay or bi.”

So why don’t Libby’s parents, and Coy’s parents, and Ash’s parents, just take a wait-and-see approach to the gender identity issue, rather than pressuring and enabling their children into an adult lifestyle? Dr. Alice Dreger, a bioethicist at Northwestern University’s school of medicine, and a staunch supporter of transgender rights, says that, “Parents who encourage their kids to change gender are socially rewarded as wonderful and accepting, while parents who try to take it slow, are seen as conservative, unaccepting, and lacking in affection.” In reality, those characterizations are probably reversed.

I’m of the belief that any adult has the right to identify with another gender, but young children aren’t emotionally or intellectually capable of making that leap. I’m also of the belief that we need to protect all children from bullies, even if those bullies are their parents.


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