By Virginia Delegate Dave LaRock (R, VA-33)
Originally published as a Letter to the Editor in the Loudoun Times-Mioror on January 5, 2017
The Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) is voting soon regarding radical sexual orientation and gender identity policies which will impact students and school employees. While it is good to protect all students, including those most vulnerable, it would not be in the best interest of any students to move forward with this policy change for many reasons.
It is important to note there is no legal authority which allows the LCSB to make these changes. Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, which means school boards have only those powers that are specifically conferred on them by the Virginia General Assembly. Earlier this year, I sued AG Herring to get a nineteen-page Official Advisory Opinion, in which he admitted there is no federal or state law requiring public schools to implement sexual orientation or gender identity polices. If LCSB goes ahead with this policy change, they do so in defiance of the law and risk wasting taxpayer dollars defending against challenges, as Fairfax County is doing now.
If anti-bullying policies are not working, then fix those policies. I recently asked a school board member how many complaints of mistreatment of homosexual and transgender kids have been reported in the Loudoun school system. The reply was no surprise; there have been none. The proposed policy change proposes no definitions of “gender identity,” or “sexual orientation.” This invites situations where teachers, parents, and students are targeted with legal action and permanent marks on records if they even accidentally call someone by the “wrong” pronoun.
School boards are obligated to create policies which contribute to the healthy development and education of our children. However, it is short-sighted to ignore the well-documented potential of harm to the physical and mental health of children associated with improper treatment of these lifestyles. Having teachers acting as role models while alternating their appearance and mannerisms between male and female, or being openly homosexual around impressionable young kids, would be a distraction at least and harmful at worst.
There is an abundance of credible information indicating that the homosexual and transgender lifestyles are harmful to kids and adults. This is a quote from a petition to the Supreme Court in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges by the US Justice Foundation:
This side of homosexuality is not likely to be presented to parents whose children are targets of this social experiment.
The human and economic toll of the needless premature deaths of thousands of people in homosexual lifestyles is horrifying. A host of sexually transmitted diseases have higher rates in the homosexual population compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
In a recently published statement entitled, “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” Paul McHugh, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, along with other experts, urged:
… educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. (Dr. McHugh, referring to transgender behavior, said) … an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and … treating the behavior as normal and denying proper treatment amounts to child abuse.
The public will be best served if schools stay out of the “business” of sexualizing our kids. Materials used by schools describing homosexual and transgender behavior are sexually explicit. Studies on the exposure of students to sexually graphic material reveal negative psychological effects. One study from 2011, “Associations Between Young Adults’ Use of Sexually Explicit Materials and Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors and Satisfaction,” revealed that students who reported frequent contact with sexually explicit material began having sex at younger ages and had more casual sex partners. Numerous credible studies support this conclusion.
It is very important to know the connection between the LGBT movement and nondiscrimination policies. In some areas of America, middle school and high school youngsters are being encouraged to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or even transgender through pro-homosexuality school clubs. Meanwhile, activist teachers are incorporating homosexuality-affirming lessons in curricula and defending their “right” to be openly homosexual in the classroom, regardless of parental opposition. Parents must recognize these strategies are well underway, and boldly stand up to protect our kids.
School must be a place where kids learn, prepare, and acquire skills for adult life. We are the guardians of our children’s innocence. Teachers, administrators, and elected leaders need to respect parents’ values and realize that policies seeking to normalize abnormal behavior will harm school children.
I encourage all Loudoun citizens to share your support for keeping schools safe for all students by voicing opposition to the proposed change in LCPS’s nondiscrimination policy before the January 10th, 2017, meeting by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.