Meghan, a biological male, dresses and identifies as a female. Thanks to the county’s SOGI statute which prevents “discrimination” against an individual on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the school district can hide behind the law when parents object to having Buell teaching sexual confusion as normal and productive.
Despite the hysterical accusations of bigotry and hatred that were leveled at conservatives and Christians who for years have warned about the unintended consequences of SOGI laws, here is a prime example of the end result of such emotionally driven policy. For those in the LGBT political crusade who for years have demanded, “How do our civil rights affect your life at all?” the answer is self-evident.
This has never been about civil rights. This has always been about the advancement of a policy agenda that limits conscience rights, religious freedom, and parental rights. The dirty little secret has always been that the movement predicated upon the creed, “Keep the government out of the bedroom,” is the very movement forcing their views of sexuality onto others through the power of government.
When the Indiana Liberty Coalition contacted the South Bend Community School superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells with their concerns, Spells passed their complaints on to the administration’s Director of Human Resources, Dr. Todd Cummings, who replied:
The City of South Bend and St. Joseph County have a broad Human Rights Ordinance which protects all citizens against discrimination in employment based on gender identity. Ms. Buell is the Executive Director of TREES and was speaking in LaPorte in that capacity-not as our employee. Enjoy your day.
Hide behind the law to escape accountability to parents, and dismiss the concerns: Human Resources 101. But the real problem is what Cummings intentionally ignored. Yes, Buell’s speech in LaPorte, Indiana was hosted by a third party (the Indiana Youth Institute). And yes, Buell spoke in the capacity of the executive director of the Transgender Resource Education and Enrichment Services. But his speech included specific references to his interactions with the second grade students in Dr. Cummings and Dr. Spells’ school system:
Substitute teacher Meghan Buell gets a kick out of her second-grade students who ask if she’s a boy or a girl. She tells them she’s a girl, of course. Then they invariably ask why her voice is so deep. “I don’t know,” she tells them. “I was born this way.”
One child, trying to help the transgender woman, suggested she eat a cough drop to help her voice. “I’ll give that a try,” she said she told the child. “Thanks.” The cough drop didn’t help, Buell told about 40 people who attended a seminar Friday at the La Porte County Complex.
Later in his talk, Buell told the audience that children should be taught to respect whatever identity another person wants to assume:
“If they want to identify as a marshmallow, we should say OK, let’s talk about it.”
Buell may be speaking in his capacity as the executive director of TREES, but he is speaking explicitly about the conduct and methodology he brings to the classrooms of South Bend Community Schools.
Perhaps a comparison would be helpful. Imagine if a local youth minister from South Bend was employed as a substitute teacher. Later, he was speaking at a Christian youth conference and spoke about how second grade children were asking him about the cross necklace he wore, at which point he presented them with the Gospel message of Jesus. Concerned parents wrote to Dr. Spell about the obvious proselytizing that was occurring in the classrooms of his school system.
Would Spell pass it on to Cummings who would write dismissively that the youth minister was speaking at a conference in his capacity as a minister, not an employee of the school? Or would the two men rush to the press to assure that the matter was being dealt with, and that all substitute teachers would be expected to adhere to school-appropriate curriculum?
You know the answer, as do I. So why the difference in this case? I feel badly for Buell and the sexual confusion that he trying desperately to reconcile with reality. And while I don’t think such individuals are the best candidates to put in a classroom of impressionable children, I understand that SOGI laws prohibit the school system from dismissing him from their substitute rolls.
But surely the district can demand that all their substitutes confine their interactions to the content matter they’ve been hired to help facilitate rather than subjecting students to false and dangerous notions that some of them may, in fact, be marshmallows.