(July 20, 2017 – The Catholic Spirit – Maria Wiering)
A “best practices” guide for schools with transgender students approved by a Minnesota Department of Education advisory council denies reality and detracts from the purpose of education, said Jason Adkins, Minnesota Catholic Conference executive director.
Testifying before the School Safety Technical Assistance Council prior to their July 19 vote to support the document, Adkins said the “Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” “is another example of the ongoing evisceration of the purpose of education, which is to form students to pursue the truth, not merely to instruct or indoctrinate them.”
He said the toolkit asks school faculty, students and parents to deny reality, and is “less about protecting all students than ruthlessly imposing a plastic view of human beings on everyone, and punishing those who don’t conform.”
The toolkit outlines practices for supporting students transitioning from their biological to perceived gender, using students’ preferred names and pronouns, and restroom use and overnight sleeping arrangements.
“The truth is that this toolkit fits neatly into a world of alternative facts, fake news, climate change denial and trigger warnings,” Adkins said. “Science matters only when it serves an ideology. As a result, our public school system and its leaders have contributed greatly to the decline in civil discourse and a denuded public culture, where the loudest, most powerful voices — not the truth — win; this toolkit is just its most recent and radical exaltation of a dictatorship of the subjective self.”
The Minnesota Department of Education described the non-binding toolkit as “a resource to help school districts and charter schools create school environments where transgender and gender nonconforming students are safe, supported and fully included.”