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HomeNorth AmericaMorton IL school votes down Alliance Defending Freedom authored policy

Morton IL school votes down Alliance Defending Freedom authored policy

Alliance Defending Freedom
Children obviously bewildered by the attention walk into school. To them, sharing public spaces with others wasn’t something they would be able to vote on. It was expected.

The virulently anti-transgender Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) authored policy introduced by board member Jeff Schmidgall was voted down Tuesday after a heated comment period. The amendment authored by Arizona lawyers would have required that district school restrooms and locker rooms be used only by members of the same biological sex.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is a key player in burnt ground anti-trans warfare transforming schools into battlegrounds along with other hate groups in a nationwide ‘Christian’ crusade.

Schmidgall and board members Shad Beaty and Tom Neeley expressed support at the Oct. 4 meeting for the ADF policy.

“I’m concerned with what’s best for all students in our district,” Schmidgall said.

The students who spoke at the Board meeting disagreed.

“Not me nor anybody that I know have felt uncomfortable about the transgender people using the same bathroom as us. I’ve never heard anybody have a problem with it up until this point,” one junior high student said.

“Segregation in any form is not OK,” said one speaker, worrying Morton local businesses would take a hit similar to what happened in North Carolina after HB2 was signed into law.

Mandy Swartzendruber, who has two daughters in the district and is a social scientist, spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting against the ADF policy.

In a letter sent to board members, she wrote that children born with a difference in sexual development would be “outed” by the ADF policy and it could lead to them avoiding a public bathroom for fear of being harassed or assaulted.

She also criticized public comments made by some audience members at the Oct. 4 board meeting.

“There are no statistics in any … journals that substantiate the heinous fears and slanderous comments made by parents,” she wrote. “To say (at a televised meeting) that someone’s child is a sexual predator? It was painful to watch.”

As usual, those against transgender student’s access to public accommodations expressed biased bigotry sometimes based on erroneous Christian beliefs, not actual encounters or criminal cases.

“I would not want my girls to share a locker room with boys,” Paige Lietenstein has two daughters in the district. Her concerns were reflected by many supporters of the policy; voicing worry about people possibly pretending to be transgender to get into the opposing sex’s bathroom.

“I don’t want my daughter to learn about the male genitalia to be in the school bathroom,” said another supporter of the policy.

Ah, the old this isn’t about transgender people, it’s about a sexual predator pretending to be trans who suddenly feels the law protects him to molest your daughter.

The down vote didn’t change any of the existing district policies. The long-standing policy still requires a student to notify administration of transition and encourage a case by case review by professionals according to federal and Illinois Association of School Boards guidelines.

Board member Jeff Schmidgall who originally introduced the policy written by the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom said.

“I know people are apprehensive, as we heard tonight, about the policy because of the legal organization who authored. This vote is not about expressing support for the organization who authored it,” Schmidgall said.

It’s not apprehension that Schmidgall felt, it was outright disgust. How is it that such a hateful group of lawyers are using board members as pawns turning what once was a sweet welcome back to school into a battleground?

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


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