December 06, 2017
By now, you shouldn't need convincing that your involvement matters! But in case you do, Delaware has just thing. After a month-long uproar, parents in the First State managed to upset the state's plans to let kids define their own race and gender -- without ever calling home! The policy, known as Regulation 225 by the state's education department, was all but a done deal until our friends at the Delaware Family Policy Council sounded the alarm. With just a 30-day comment period standing in the way of liberals' new rule, Council head Nicole Theis, in a frantic dash to warn voters, created such an uproar that the story made national news.
In the process, she also managed to gather more than 8,000 petitions against the policy, including a whopping 11,000 comments in the state register. Yesterday, your input paid off! Governor John Carney (D), who was the one directing superintendents and school boards to draft the ridiculous guideline, backed off. In a statement this week, Carney announced that he'd directed "the Development Team to reconvene in January to review the comments and make recommendations for changes to the regulation. If substantive changes are made, the regulation will be published... again with another 30-day public comment period."
That momentum also spread like wildfire to local districts, where some -- like Indiana River -- fired off letters of intense opposition to state officials. Among their concerns? Fear that a non-transgender student would take advantage of "the premise of this regulation to gain access to private areas within the school," which could "open the school district to substantial litigation." The proposal also places "the district in direct conflict with students and their parents" and could lead to lawsuits and a lack of trust between the district and parents, board members wrote.
Also, the district goes on, "The law surrounding this issue is unresolved by the court system, increasing the likelihood of litigation. This regulation places the burden of litigation costs solely on the school district and not on the state. Our bathrooms and locker rooms were constructed to serve multiple people of the same sex... Private space is nearly non-existent. Most schools will be forced to renovate existing bathrooms and locker rooms to provide a higher level of privacy to all students. Once again, the school district will be required to shoulder the burden of the costs for these extensive renovations."
Amazingly, 14 of the 16 members of the House Republican caucus also demanded that the state drop the issue and let local schools decide "on their own" how to handle the issue. Although the fight isn't over (yet!), look at what we can accomplish in a single month when conservatives engage! Keep it up.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.