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A Call to Protect the Innocent
The innocence of our young vulnerable children sits on a mountain of lies aimed at destruction. The children know it and at a charter school board meeting in Monument in May of this year, a brave sixth grader voiced it when she addressed the board saying, “Why should I have to feel insecure in the bathroom or I should feel unsafe to change and use it? I shouldn’t because you proclaimed you would protect every student which means me as well.” She spoke about the invasion of privacy exhibited when a biological boy was allowed to enter the girl’s bathroom at her school. This astute young girl understands the frailty of the normal transition process into womanhood all biological girls experience and praised the board for their proclamation which stated, “The Board has a duty to ensure that MA (Monument Academy) protects the safety and bodily privacy of each and every one of our students.” But she wanted to know what they were going to DO to protect her and others like her.
Elevating Behavior to a Protected Class
The proclamation dated February 10, 2022 was in response to an incident in the charter school’s middle school and its stated cause was to address issues of privacy and protection of students related to two bills enacted within the past 15 years. Both bills made changes to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) which gives special rights to people according to their membership in a particular class. SB08-200 added “sexual orientation” and HB21-1108 added “gender identity” and “gender expression”.
Gender identity is defined as “an individual’s innate sense of the individual’s own gender, which may or may not correspond with the individual’s sex assigned at birth” and gender expression speaks to “an individual’s way of reflecting and expressing the individual’s gender to the outside world, typically demonstrated through appearance, dress, or behavior.” These are characteristics that can change on a daily or minute-by-minute basis and may not be readily known through simple observation.
Colorado’s anti-discrimination law harkens back to 1885 – well before the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was designed to give equal protection to people who were being systemically discriminated against. In its original form, it was narrowly tailored to provide essential services like hotels and restaurants but today, public accommodation includes all places open to the public – for example cake bakers, photographers, florists, and website designers, as well as, schools.
The addition of behaviors and subjective feelings as protected classes, rather than immutable characteristics like race or ancestry, are at odds with the consciences of those who hold those behaviors outside the bounds of God’s created order. While creed and religion are listed as protected classes, they rarely receive the same respect or weight with agencies delegated to uphold CADA. Which means, any school trying to protect the innocence of children by limiting access to bathrooms and locker rooms based on biological realities will be persecuted by those pushing this rogue agenda based on dysphoria.
Our founders fought a war to protect our rights of conscience. Today, they are being trampled on to accommodate behaviors antithetical to common sense.
Ryan Graham, the President of the Board of Monument Academy, stepped into his position after serving for one year as a board member. For him, this issue is all about the safety of the children. Much like the courage and bravery it takes to run into a burning building to save lives, he steps into the fray knowing full well he may have to pay a price for standing against the tide. During a conversation with Mr. Graham, he was insistent that the course he is taking is the right one and he is steadfast in his resolve to see it through.
On June 27th, Ryan Graham led the board in bringing forward a resolution that passed unanimously during a special meeting where over 200 parents and concerned citizens applauded their efforts. At the presentation of the resolution, parents were championed as the key to upholding the 4th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.
The resolution attempts to walk a fine line between pushing back against the laws passed at the state and federal levels and bringing sanity to the bathroom and locker room issue. Yet a resolution merely outlines the sentiments of the board. The next step is for the board to put those sentiments into policy outlining clear expectations for administrators, teachers, and parents.
Hurdles abound and it will take more than sheer courage to chart the course through the troubled waters of laws that mock the consciences of many and the common sense we all used to possess. With school board elections on the horizon, staying the course will require parents to be as brave as the sixth-grade girl who asked for protection and as courageous as a board who stands with her.