May 13, 2016
Parents across the country woke up to a nightmare this morning that most of them never thought possible: their own government trying to shatter the privacy of every child in America. In an announcement entirely fitting with Friday the 13th, the Obama administration is helping voters reach a new threshold of outrage with a decree insisting that every public school force students into the humiliating situation of sharing restrooms, locker rooms, and showers with members of the opposite sex.
The missive, which came courtesy of the lawless bullies at the Departments of Justice and Education, demands that schools let boys and girls decide for themselves what their gender identity is -- and "respect" and "accommodate" their feelings -- without so much as parents' input or medical diagnosis. "A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so," the agencies insist in a "guidance," which -- oh by the way -- contradicts federal law. Together with a 25-page document, "Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students," the DOE and DOJ hope to strong-arm districts into violating the government's own statutes!
And while the order isn't legally binding, there is an implicit threat that this will be financially painful for any school that refuses. "No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus," said new Secretary of Education John King, who is part of the tag-team radically rewriting the Civil Rights Act and Title IX. Like so many issues before it, this is clearly an overreach of the administration's power -- designed to drive an extreme agenda forward that Congress has repeatedly refused to do statutorily. Parents and local school boards in every community across American should stand up and say "not with our children...not on our watch!"
Even for an administration so routinely smacked down by the federal courts for its abuse of executive power, this is astounding. The president and allies are disobeying the law -- and now they're encouraging others to do the same! Obviously, the administration has been embarrassed by the fight in North Carolina and the fierce pushback it faced from Governor Pat McCrory (R), Lt. Governor Dan Forest (R), and state leaders. So now it's upping the ante with a nationwide campaign to get others on its side -- by force. But parents didn't relinquish their rights to keep their children safe when they signed them up for public school. In a nation fed up with the hyper-indoctrination of students, this is a tipping point. I've spoken to state and federal leaders today and the response is the same: shock and anger. Already, the calls to fight are streaming in from across the country. From North Carolina to Texas, officials are more than ready to go to war to protect their children and their authority. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) is one of them.
"This attempt to bully our local schools into submission to the Obama administration's agenda is shameful and a gross abuse of the federal government's power. It has nothing to do with compassion for minority student populations and everything to do with political opportunism for the next election. We all agree on the rights of students to be treated with dignity and respect, but that right must also exist alongside the rights of students to maintain their privacy and safety in their own schools. As a grandmother of young girls, I believe the Obama Administration is now directly responsible for endangering our students. It is worth noting that this directive does not carry the force of law and I would encourage Tennessee school officials to continue following their consciences."
Elsewhere, in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) is encouraging other states to join the resistance. "I announced today that Texas is fighting this. Obama can't rewrite the Civil Rights Act." Senators like Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) are gearing up for an executive showdown. "Is there any issue the Obama administration believes can be left to state and local government?" he blasted back. As I've said before, if the president can't be stopped on something as fundamental as the right to privacy, there is literally nothing beyond his reach. If Congress is unwilling to challenge the White House on this attack on the innocence of children and parents won't stand up and speak out for their children, then we have to seriously question the future of this country.
This is a Lot moment for our generation (Gen. 19). Will we shove our children out in the hopes of some phony promise of temporal peace? I encourage you to read the gut-wrenching stories of the teenage girls in Palatine, Illinois and see for yourself what this perversion is doing to our daughters. Eleventh graders are literally wearing their gym clothes under their outfits because they're so mortified about sharing a locker room with a biological boy.
The American people were already fired up after the Target announcement, but now it's time to harness that momentum and mobilize. Every parent, every school board in America, should absolutely refuse to sacrifice the safety of their children for the threat of taking away nine federal pennies on average that make up every educational dollar. If you're on a school board, introduce a measure rejecting the order. If you're a parent, contact your school board -- and keep contacting them -- until they act. If you're a pastor, start thinking about ways that your church could offer a low-cost education alternative to parents as safe havens for their children.
When the president is willing to subject students to an ideology that the American College of Pediatricians calls "child abuse," there's absolutely no reason for any family to surrender their kids to godless government schools. This march on our children's innocence should be resisted with every legal and moral instrument we have available in this country. And that includes the House and Senate. If the administration goes forward with an order this extreme, then Congress should begin impeachment proceedings. Unless our leaders act, America will be circling the drain of this president's "hope and change." Moments like these are exactly what a congressional majority is for. It's time the Republicans used it.
** Sign FRC's petition here to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) urging Congress to resist the president and protect America's children in our nation's schools. **
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.