I don’t usually get too involved in politics. I’m not particularly opinionated about dealing with the 17.3 trillion in national debt or the changing foreign policy. What I am opinionated, experienced, and educated in is our schools. I work with children who are at one of the most unstable and uncertain points in their life- middle school. Their bodies are growing too fast in all the wrong places. Their hormones are playing hopscotch on their sweet faces and every second can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Suffice to say, no one looks back at their years in middle school with heartfelt fondness.
In search of consistency
For many students, school is the one place of order, consistency, and clear boundaries. It is a place of safety and certain expectations for accepted behavior. Children are free to test their hand at participating in society without too much fear of total public failure.
School funding should not be tied to political agendas
Amid the growing controversy of transgender bathrooms in public shopping venues, President Obama weighed in on transgender bathrooms in schools. In this article from The Washington Times, it states that (according to President Obama) schools will now be required to allow students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify. Not only that, but failure to comply could result in the loss of funding for the school.
Could potentially lead to further abuse
For lack of better phrasing, this will open a whole can of crazy in our schools. It will lead to further abuse of those questioning their gender identity. Many students will use this as an opportunity to further alienate and poke fun at those labeled different. In addition, this leaves students with unsupervised and unmitigated opportunities to participate in inappropriate behaviors and gives staff no recourse for monitoring these behaviors.
Transgender bathrooms and anxiety and confusion
Beyond even the regulating of such facilities, adolescence is already filled with confusion and uncertainty. Adding additional choices to children already struggling to find their way could further confuse them and lead to additional anxiety, not only for those questioning their gender identity, but all children.
I’m not saying that our schools shouldn’t be understanding and compassionate to those who are struggling with their gender identity or otherwise. We should teach all our children about acceptance but we need to find a way to do it while still providing the deeply needed order, routine, and boundaries in which all children can grow and thrive.