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Public School Transgender Bathroom Policies and Real Life Consequences

Public School Transgender Bathroom Policies and Real Life Consequences

 

By Peggy Browning

 

Transgender bathroom policies have real life consequences.

I need to pee. Where can I go? Not here, not there, not anywhere.
Public School Transgender bathroom policies have real life consequences.

Please allow me a few minutes of your time to tell you about the real life consequences of public school transgender bathroom policies.

I taught for 16 years in Texas public schools. The last two years were spent as home-bound education coordinator for a school system with an enrollment of 14,000+ students.  My job was to teach students who were unable to attend school due to health reasons including cancer, mononucleosis, surgery, broken bones, bone marrow transplants, mental health issues, and various other causes. A physician prescribed placement to home-bound instruction if the illness was determined to impede the student’s ability to attend school on campus.

In 2010, the Texas Education Agency allowed students up to four hours per week of home-bound instruction. A teacher goes to the student’s home or to an appointed meeting place and provides four hours of direct instruction. Usually that instruction time was divided in two 2-hour periods two times per week.

It is the home-bound teacher’s responsibility to gather all work from other teachers and the child’s campus and help the student do the assigned work. The teacher then acts as a liaison between the campus and the student and returns the work, etc. to the original teacher who then grades and records the result and assigns grades for the time period whether it is a semester, a six weeks period, nine weeks or whatever.

So…a student was assigned to me for home-bound services. A junior high student…with problems other than physical ailments. This student was transgender and was causing a kerfuffle about using the restroom.

The student, who I will call Charlie, had other issues, like an un-diagnosed learning disability, anxiety, and being a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Those issues alone were enough to create problems for the kid. Unfortunately, lots of kids have those same issues.

However, the one issue that set Charlie apart and adrift from the public school system was being transgender.

Public School Transgender Bathroom Policies

Public School Transgender bathroom policies

Charlie wore skirts, cute shoes, make-up and had a really cute hair-do. (Image purchased from canstockphoto.com)

 

Charlie was in 8th grade and wore skirts, cute shoes, and make-up and had a great hair-do. Charlie identified in every way as a female, except one: genitalia.  Charlie had a penis, so was expected to use the boys’ restroom.

And that, along with other things, caused a shit storm at the junior high.

Charlie was assigned to the special school for emotionally disturbed kids where students received counseling and attended small classes with specially trained teachers. But Charlie couldn’t stay there forever due to funding and insurance and budget cuts and all that stuff.

And Charlie couldn’t return to the junior high campus because the tide had already turned there and Charlie wasn’t really welcome any more. There were too many problems with bullying and bathrooms and dress code violations.

 

 

So, Charlie became my student and we had a great time twice a week trying to learn basic geometry and the fricking Pythagorean theorem. We didn’t get a lot of work done, but we talked a lot about life. And about being different. And about being OK with yourself. And about God loving you for who you are…because if you believe in God, you have to believe that God made you that way.

And if you believe only in DNA, then you have to believe your DNA made you that way. Either way, you have to accept yourself whether other people accept you or not.

But here is another major issue that Charlie and I faced…

You don’t get a lot of education in four hours per week… even with a fantastic teacher like me. 

 

The Consequences of Public School Transgender Bathroom Policies

The consequences of the public school transgender bathroom policies brouhaha at the school district resulted in Charlie basically being denied a FAPE … a Free Appropriate Public Education, which is the legal right of every student who is attending a public school in every single state in the United States.

That is the law. That is Title IX. That is the legal right of every public school student.

So, school districts across ‘Mureca…get your act together and decide how everyone on campus can use the bathroom in peace and harmony.

It is your legal obligation to provide the Free Appropriate Public Education that is due each and every child no matter whether they sit down or stand up to pee.

And while you’re looking at those requirements, you need to examine the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, too. No matter how you classify a student, everyone has the right to use the restroom at school.

And for my dear friend and lovely human being, Charlie…this one is just for you. I believe that United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch is looking out for your best interests.

The horrifying experience in a Target bathroom that I won’t soon forget

We all knew something terrible could happen in those Target restrooms, now didn’t we? 

This is an article by Ellie DeLano, a SheKnows Expert from SheKnows.com. She was way more kind than I think I would have been.

I am thinking now of what I would have done in this situation and kind of hoping something similar happens to me.

Because I know what I will do if it should happen to me.

I will peek back. 

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Source: The horrifying experience in a Target bathroom that I won’t soon forget

Appreciate What Our Tax Money Buys

What our Tax Money buys

by Peggy Browning

our tax money

Federal Courthouses. That’s just one of the things our tax money is used to support.

What Our Tax Money Buys…it buys some pretty great stuff, you know.

Lots of people (possibly every single one of us) complain and moan about having to pay taxes. We wonder what our tax money buys. And how the government uses our tax money. And why we have to shell out our tax money each year.

Here’s what our tax money buys:

  • A free and appropriate public education. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance
  • Funding for colleges. Yes, in addition to tuition, colleges get funding from state and federal governments.
  • Roads. How would you like to see the USA in your Chevrolet without interstate highways?
  • Power infrastructure. Ever hear of the Tennessee Valley Authority?
  • FEMA. Yes, I know FEMA is highly criticized. But if we have a F5 tornado that wipes out our city or a big ol’ hurricane that floods the whole coast…who do we call? FEMA, of course.
  • Hospitals. Ask the people of Bowie, Texas if they would like to pay an extra tax if $120 per year to support their hospital now that their hospital is closed.
  • Police departments. Fire departments. Ambulance services. Again…who you gonna call? When my house caught on fire in 1992, I called the fire department. I didn’t rely on the guy across the street and his water hose.  When I had a car wreck in 1989, I didn’t walk to the hospital. I rode two miles in an ambulance.
  • Businesses. You know that new company that just moved into town and is going to provide 100 new jobs for the population? They got a tax incentive to do that.
  • Sewers and  clean water. If you like water to run from your tap into your sink and your toilet water to run into underground pipes that take the dirty water to a water treatment plant instead of having standing doo-doo water in your backyard, you can thank your city sewer and water department that are paid for by your taxes.

There are so many more services that I haven’t mentioned here because, guess what? I take all these wonderful conveniences of modern life for granted.

our tax money

Libraries! How could I forget libraries! One of the great things our taxes support.

I like all these things, don’t you?  I can’t … and neither can you…provide all these wonder things for myself.

We are all in this together. Our taxes make our communal lives livable. When I get my proverbial ox in a ditch, I expect one of our government and tax provided services to pull it out for me. Plus I like to take long walks on the nice walkway at the tax-created public park. And I know you do too. Especially when you get your ox in a ditch.

We have until Monday to pay federal income taxes! Let’s do this!

No bitchin’ allowed.

Let’s see what our tax money buys this year.

 

 

 

Trump, Manipulation, and Situationism

Trump, Manipulation, and Situationism*.

by Peggy Browning

I find it hard to believe that I'm seeing live experiments on human behavior when I watch the news. stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

I find it hard to believe that I’m seeing live experiments on human behavior when I watch the news.
stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net

Trump, manipulation, and situationism. Months ago I swore I would not watch anything associated with Donald Trump again. I would eschew all cable news and watch only PBS news with Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill. I would hear all the other things that were happening in the world besides an over-grown bully polluting the air with his 4th grade level taunts.
But…Friday evening I was at my news-watching, MSNBC loving friend’s house and she was watching the 6:00 p.m. edition of all things Trump. We ate pizza and watched as Chris Matthews narrated the debacle at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
My friend saw a “riot” created by D. Trump. I saw the beginning of the consequences of a long experiment in social psychology that could have been conducted by Stanley Milgram or Philip Zimbardo.
Trump could easily be using the transcripts from Milgram’s or Zimbardo’s experiments. He is using the techniques administered during their experiments.
I hope all the people who were used as guineas pigs in Trump’s mass manipulation of human response were properly debriefed after the big experiment was conducted on them. Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s participants were de-briefed, and even then they suffered some lingering effects from professionally monitored experiments.
Trump probably never intended to have a rally in Chicago. He was merely performing another experiment in how to make a Good American. He had lots of willing subjects. He used them stage his own little private coup d’etat.

Manipulation and Situationism*

Here’s how the manipulation works:

Make people afraid.
• the world is a terrible place,
• there has never been unemployment this high
• we are assaulted by terrorists on every side.

Make other people scapegoats. Belittle and demonize everyone and everything not attached to you.
• the Latinos are taking our jobs,
• the blacks are lazy,
• the Muslims hate us and will kill us,
• the gay people will kill marriage as we know it,
• the women will expect equal pay.
Create cognitive dissonance.
• I am a good person.
• I fear Latinos, blacks, Muslims, gays, and women.
• Therefore there must be something wrong with them or else I would not fear them.
• I’m OK; they’re NOT OK.
Put value on allegiance to the proposed program or person. Research shows that anything we give up something for, we place a higher value on.
• Call people, programs, political parties winners and losers.
• Claim to be a winner.
• Cultivate a culture where only the people who agree with you are winners.
• Issue more tickets to a rally than the venue holds; make people wait hours to get in; have them pledge support to the candidate to get in.
• When someone actually gets in to a rally, that makes them one of the “lucky ones, a winner”.

Put people in a situation where they gave up something to be there.
• Maybe they waited in line for hours, scored a seat in the over-crowded auditorium, traveled a long distance to attend.
• Pretend to have a problem in the highly controlled environment.
• Allow some people from the scapegoat category to come in.
• Create an atmosphere of “situationism.”

Make yourself appear even more valuable and wise so followers identify with you and

Dump Trump and Cable News

Image: ikpro/freedigitalphotos.net

build allegiance to you.
• Cancel the rally due to concerns of safety. Lie about your contact with city officials.
• Say “go in peace.”
• Accuse the demonstrators you allowed in of being paid agitators.
• Encourage people who want to be “winners” to go ahead and beat the shit out of anyone they think are “losers.”
• Say “I don’t know what happened. I like people. These people must be bad and they have something against me. I don’t know why they don’t like me, I am just a successful billionaire trying to make America great again.”
Apply technique and repeat.

Each time, more good people follow blindly along, believing they are right and others are wrong, denying their wrong-doing and wrong-thinking, and proving they are “winners.”
That’s how good Germans, good soldiers at Abu Ghraib, good Isis suicide bombers and “good Americans” are made.

*Situationism: Though the term didn’t exist at the time, Milgram was a proponent of what today’s social psychologists call situationism: the idea that people’s behavior is determined largely by what’s happening around them. “They’re not psychopaths, and they’re not hostile, and they’re not aggressive or deranged. They’re just people, like you and me,” Miller said. “If you put us in certain situations, we’re more likely to be racist or sexist, or we may lie, or we may cheat. There are studies that show this, thousands and thousands of studies that document the many unsavory aspects of most people.”
But continued to its logical extreme, situationism “has an exonerating effect,” he said. “In the minds of a lot of people, it tends to excuse the bad behavior … it’s not the person’s fault for doing the bad thing, it’s the situation they were put in.” Milgram’s studies were famous because their implications were also devastating: If the Nazis were just following orders, then he had proved that anyone at all could be a Nazi. If the guards at Abu Ghraib were just following orders, then anyone was capable of torture.
The latter, Reicher said, is part of why interest in Milgram’s work has seen a resurgence in recent years. “If you look at acts of human atrocity, they’ve hardly diminished over time,” he said, and news of the abuse at Abu Ghraib was surfacing around the same time that Yale’s archival material was digitized, a perfect storm of encouragement for scholars to turn their attention once again to the question of what causes evil.

https://erikbuys.wordpress.com/tag/stanley-milgram-obedience-study/
http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html

http://www.jcouncil.org/site/DocServer/YHS_Program_POST_PROGRAM.pdf?docID=10421

https://www.ted.com/speakers/philip_zimbardo