Guest editorial: Vilification of anyone opposed to Welcoming Schools program is unwarranted and wrong
I am a woman, a Jew, a doctor, the mother of a gay son, and a feminist who attended an elite women’s college. My youngest son is a junior at Park City High School and his brothers are in college, so the proposed “Welcoming Schools” curriculum at Trailside Elementary will not affect my family directly, yet this program concerns us.
I understand why the parents who filed the cease and desist order have done so anonymously. The vilification of anyone not “toeing the party line” is horrible. Just read the letters that have been written to the editor. Or read the quote by Andrew Caplan, president of the Park City Board of Education, who likened these parents to hood-wearing Klansmen.
My gay son was sickened during the bear spray attack at PCHS. I have not seen the level of condemnation for this attack as is being directed towards parents concerned about the proposed curriculum at Trailside. In fact, some have said the attack that injured my son, a member of the LGBTQ community this curriculum is designed to welcome, is justified because he is conservative. The hypocrisy is palpable.
As a life-long feminist, I am concerned with the attempt of the transgender movement to erase many gains we women have made over multiple decades. In recent years, transgender athletes have decimated women’s sports by shattering records thereby dashing biological females’ life-long dreams. Hard fought Title IX protections are vanishing. Rapists identifying as women are being moved to women’s prisons; battered women’s shelters are forced to admit biological males identifying as women who could endanger the residents the shelter hoped to protect; and transgender women with penises are openly using locker rooms where I, other women, and young girls change. Many liberal democrats and prominent members of the gay community are concerned as well. What about our safe spaces?
As a doctor, teaching gender fluidity is politics, not science. Women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y chromosome. As a libertarian, I truly believe that you can identify as whatever you choose, share your bedroom with whomever you love, and raise your kids however you believe, but you should not be able to force your beliefs on me nor mandate how I raise my children.
Each family is unique with its own issues. As a Jew, I worry about the 2017 FBI statistics showing 58% of religion-based hate crimes in our country are perpetrated against us, and, on a per capita basis, Jews are 3 times more often victims of hate crimes than members of the LGBTQ community. I became a single mother when my children lost their father at ages 7, 9 and 11. At home, we read special age-appropriate books written by elementary experts to help process our loss. I am not asking the school district to read from the Torah or enact a special program to help other families in the school understand the trauma of losing a parent. Other children in similar circumstances could benefit from such a program. Yet asking the entire student body to participate would be ludicrous.
We all need to teach our children to live by the Golden Rule. It should be applied regardless of religion, color, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation. Programs geared towards certain special groups will, by definition, marginalize others.
Many of you disagree, and I respect that. Thankfully, we live in a country where that is our right. Because of this disagreement, this is a subject matter best left to parents to address at home. We moved to Park City in part because of the highly ranked school district. According to US News and World Report, PCHS dropped from 200 in the nation in 2011 to 3,381 in 2019. Graduates are only 37% proficient in reading and 40% in math. The new PCSD administrators should focus their attention on academics, and let the parents worry about the rest!
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Diane Thompson writes that City Hall should not be involved in financing or building an arts and culture district. Instead, it should sell the land to a developer to pursue the project.