As the famous Yogi Berra once said “it’s Déjà vu all over again”. Thanks to massive participation from Montana families, I thought we’d sent the transgender athletes proposal straight to the bench. Sadly, the educational establishment wants to send it right back into the game. But I’m not worried. Montana families have got the best defensive line short of this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Not long ago, the education establishment tried to pass a transgender athletic policy. They wanted to let boys who identify as girls play on girls sports teams. This is a bad idea for several reasons. Federal law requires that women have equal athletic opportunities with men, and that usually means that in sports like basketball or track and field there are boys’ teams and there are girls’ teams. If a girl works for four years to win a starting spot on the volleyball team, that’s a great opportunity. How would it be fair for her to lose that slot to a six-foot-four athlete who has a male body, but identifies as a female? Our young female athletes could lose their spots on sports teams, they could lose college scholarships, there are safety concerns, and there are privacy issues.
Thanks to a tidal wave of opposition from parents and students, we forced the establishment to back down, and our girls were protected. But the educational establishment isn’t ready to give up. The surprising news today is that the transgender athlete policy is back, and all of us need to get back in the fight.
At first, this policy came from the Montana High School Association. Now, it’s back again, this time from the Montana School Boards Association. The Montana High School Association governs high school sports and activities. The Montana School Boards Association, on the other hand, advises school boards for all grades from kindergarten on up.
The Montana School Boards Association sent around a proposed revision to discrimination policies that added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Originally, they said that local school boards were required to adopt this policy. Later, after the Montana Family Foundation challenged that position, they changed the policy to optional rather than required. Unfortunately, while they say it’s optional, they also throw in lots of vague, threatening language about the dreadful legal consequences that might happen if school boards don’t adopt the policy.
Just as families across Montana were celebrating the return of common sense to school policies regarding boys and girls, we need to get back to work. In towns and cities across our state, local school boards are coming under pressure to adopt this new transgender policy. If it passes at the local level, we could see boys who identify as girls being allowed to use the girls’ locker rooms and restrooms. It happened in Colorado and it can happen in Montana. I urge you to contact your school board as soon as possible and ask what they’re planning to do about the proposed changes to equal education and nondiscrimination policy.
We already killed this ill-conceived plan once. But the problem with politics is that once people get emotionally invested in a bad idea, they keep bringing it back. But, emotionally invested or not, this is still a bad idea. Please call your school board today.