Sunday, May 08, 2016
Harvard Will Punish Students Who Join Single-Sex Clubs
Male Harvard students greatly value their traditional male clubs. And why not? If women can have "safe spaces", why not men too?
Harvard University announced new policies Friday intended to punish any student who joins a single-sex social club.
Harvard President Drew Faust announced the decision in an email to students. Under the new policy, any student who joins a single-sex fraternity, sorority, or final club will be banned from captaining a sports team, leading a recognized student group, or being endorsed for fellowships like the Rhodes Scholarship. The policy is intended to strongly discourage joining such organizations, while also pressuring them to become co-ed as a means of escaping school sanction.
“Although the fraternities, sororities, and final clubs are not formally recognized by the College, they play an unmistakable and growing role in student life,” said Faust. “The College cannot ignore these organizations if it is to advance our shared commitment to broadening opportunity and making Harvard a campus for all of its students.”
Faust denounced the clubs for entrenching “privilege and exclusion” at Harvard, which she said went against the school’s “core values” although it has an acceptance rate of less than 10 percent and costs more than $63,000 a year to attend.
Poster campaign strikes a nerve!
Just two weeks ago, I announced our current campaign to expose campus organizations that support terrorists and push their Jew-hating and democracy-hating agendas. These include defaming Israel as an apartheid state that occupies Palestinian land and spear-heading the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.
At San Diego State University, our campaign struck a nerve.
Students for Justice in Palestine -- an organization created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood -- and its leftist allies erupted. Three hundred anti-Israel/anti-American activists surrounded the car of the President of San Diego State University and trapped him inside for two hours demanding he condemn our campaign instead of defending free speech, as he had.
He apologized to the terrorist sympathizers and may yet condemn our protest as other university administrators have. But the bottom line is that through our campaign we have successfully linked Students for Justice in Palestine to the terrorists whose lies they spread and whose agendas they serve.
The Freedom Center's willingness to confront this threat and be denounced by Vice Chancellors and university presidents is unique. No other organization is willing to risk the opprobrium that is incurred on college campuses and in the media by confronting the supporters of Islamic terror in our midst.
This coming Thursday, I will be speaking at San Diego State University and then on Friday at the University of California (Irvine). The indication is that there will be large protests. The Muslim Student Association -- another Muslim Brotherhood creation and sponsor of BDS -- has announced that they will protest my campus appearance. We are arranging for extra security as a result.
As only the Freedom Center can, we have taken the gloves off to expose the Jew Hatred that is epidemic on our college campuses. The SJP-MSA campaign can only be described as a Hamas-inspired genocidal effort to destroy the world's only Jewish state.
We have carried our opposition to this homegrown support group for Islamic terrorism at UC-Santa Barbara, San Diego State, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and UCLA. As at San Diego State, we have conducted the campaign by putting up posters that named the faculty and student activists involved in supporting the terrorists and their agendas, and in particular the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.
We intend to carry our campaign to other campuses and need to be able to provide for extra security for our speakers, myself included.
By calling out the friends and sympathizers of terrorists on campus, we are making an impact, These people are accustomed to practicing out their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred with university support and without opposition. No longer. With your help, we will be there to confront them.
This is just the beginning. We are starting with six schools here in California and ready to go national
The Glasgow primary without a SINGLE Scottish pupil: 181 of school's 222 children are from either Romania or Slovakia
A Glasgow primary with 222 pupils has no native Scots in the school, it was revealed today. Annette Street School is pleading for cash to help teach its Roma, Eastern European and Asian children, who don't speak English as a first language. Overall, 181 of the school's 222 pupils are from Romania or Slovakia.
Headteacher Shirley Taylor said this causes problems because all of the school's teachers speak only English.
Youngsters who have been in Scotland the longest often act as unofficial interpreters for other pupils.
The primary has joined forces with students from Strathclyde Business School in a 'crowd-funding' appeal to raise cash through public donations to help buy teaching materials.
Mrs Taylor said: 'We don't have any Scottish children in the school at all. The majority of children attending are from either Slovakia or Romanian Roma families.
'Families originally came from Slovakia because Govanhill is an area where migrant families come by tradition. 'They settled in and then started communicating with families back home, and word got out for others to come to Annette Street Primary, and so they did.
'And now the same thing is happening with our Romanian families. Most come from the same area and word has got back to their extended families that if you go to Glasgow, you should go to Annette Street.'
The cash raised will be spent on board games like Guess Who? or Articulate, which for £10 help pupils learn words and social skills, according to the cash appeal.
A donation of £100 could be used to pay for after school classes for students and parents to learn English together.
Around £200 may finance a trip away to the seaside or out of Glasgow into the Scottish countryside. £500 could fund a new playground and £1,000 would be enough for an outdoor classroom.
Mother-of-nine Ayesha Siddiqi currently has two children at the school. The 54-year-old from Ayrshire said: 'Lots of my friends sent their children here before, but then took them out and sent them to other nearby schools where there were more kids from Scotland'.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: 'The diversity and many cultures in our classrooms across the city make Glasgow the wonderful city that we have become known for.
'Our children and young people can all learn from each other. Almost 140 languages are spoken in our schools in Glasgow. Working and studying together brings tolerance.'
51 Families Sue Over Illinois High School’s Transgender Bathroom Policy
A group of 51 families whose children attend a high school in Illinois filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, attempting to reverse a policy that allows a transgender student to use girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-specific facilities.
The families are challenging a policy at Township High School District 211 that was mandated by the U.S. Department of Education to accommodate the transgender student, who was born male but identifies as a female.
“It’s an organic group of parents and students who came together and said, ‘We have to do something about this—we can’t just roll over and allow the federal government to force our school to commingle the sexes in locker rooms,’” said Jeremy Tedesco, a lawyer representing the families.
The suit, which challenges the Education Department’s authority to redefine the term sex in Title IX of U.S. law to include gender identity and to enforce it against schools, is the first of its kind, Tedesco told The Daily Signal.
The president of the group filing the lawsuit, Students and Parents for Privacy, said she and other Cook County parents with children in the school district decided legal action “was the only thing we could do at this point.”
“We tried,” she said, adding:
We did everything we could to work with the school district, and we were really hoping they would do the right thing and protect the privacy of all students, but when they chose not to, we felt we had no choice in order to protect the girls in the locker room.
The group’s president asked that her name not be published because of the sensitive nature of the case.
The issue began in December 2013, when Student A filed a complaint with the Education Department against Township High School District 211, based in the village of Palatine, Ill.
The complaint alleged that District 211 had discriminated against the transgender student on the basis of sex.
After completing an extensive investigation, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights said on Dec. 2 that Township High School District 211 was in violation of federal law for refusing to grant Student A full access to the girls’ locker room.
The school had granted Student A some accommodations, including changing the student’s name on official records, allowing the student on the girls sports teams, and granting the student access to the girls’ bathrooms. But District 211 drew the line at providing Student A unrestrained access to the girls’ locker rooms because of the privacy concerns of other girls using them. Instead, the school offered a private facility to Student A.
Daniel Cates, superintendent of District 211, said in an October newsletter:
The goal of the district in this matter is to protect the privacy rights of all students when changing clothes or showering before or after physical education and after-school activities, while also providing reasonable accommodations to meet the unique needs of individual students. Our responsibility is to provide an environment conducive to learning for all its 12,000+ students.
According to the Education Department’s investigation, the student felt “crushed” by the school district’s decision not to allow access to the locker rooms, “which she said indicated that the school did not accept her as a female.”
After the Education Department had completed its investigation, it ordered District 211 to grant Student A full access to the girls’ locker rooms and install privacy curtains inside those locker rooms, or else be at risk of losing federal financial assistance.
Thomas Petersen, director of community relations at Township High School District 211, said the school “could potentially lose up to $6 million in federal funding.”
Now, the 73 parents and 63 students who are members of the group Students and Parents for Privacy are suing, arguing the Education Department lacks the authority to redefine sex in Title IX of U.S. law to include gender identity.
The parents and students also are asking for an injunction against the Justice Department, which has enforcement authority under Title IX, and an injunction against Township School District 211 from carrying out the Education Department’s demands.
The Christian legal aid group Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the parents and students, along with local support from lawyers at the Thomas More Society.
“What we’re attempting to do in this case is stop the Department of Education from redefining sex in Title IX to include gender identity,” Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal. “It has no authority whatsoever to do that.”
Debate Over Title IX
Title IX is the federal law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program. Whether or not Title IX applies to transgender students is an issue that has been vigorously debated, with courts ruling on both sides.
Most recently, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that a transgender high school student who was born female but identifies as a male has the right to pursue discrimination charges against a school district for blocking access to the boys’ bathrooms.
The judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit cited the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX in issuing their 2-1 decision.
The Obama administration stated in a 2014 document that “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination.”
Tedesco called the ruling in Virginia a “complete outlier,” arguing that other courts have ruled the opposite way:
There’s been several courts that have addressed the question of whether Title IX applies to and protects against gender identity discrimination, and all those courts up to the 4th Circuit’s decision have said it does not.
If Americans want to add additional protections for gender identity, Tedesco said, it’s the job of Congress—not the Education Department—to make those changes. He said:
If Congress wants to redefine sex to include gender identity—if they want to add gender identity as a protected class under Title IX—they can do that through the regular lawmaking process. But Congress has rejected it several times, so the Department of Education just comes in and makes it up and adds it to the law. That’s something they have no authority whatsoever to do. And now they’re running around the country and forcing essentially what is a new Department of Education rule against schools across the country.
Since 2010, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has proposed that Congress pass a measure that would provide protections for students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus far, that legislation has failed.
Township High School District 211 is the first school in the nation that the Education Department found in violation of Title IX over transgender issues. Now, it’s the first school in the country to face a lawsuit of this kind.
The Path Forward
In December, six female students attempted to explain to the District 211 school board why they were uncomfortable with allowing Student A into their locker room.
“Although we will never fully understand your personal struggle,” the girls said, addressing the transgender student, “please understand that we, too, all are experiencing personal struggles that need to be respected.”
The president of Students and Parents for Privacy said she supports accommodations for Student A that balance the student’s interests with the rest of the student body.
“We understand why Student A doesn’t want to be in the boys’ locker room,” she said. “We get it. But the girls’ locker room isn’t the answer either. We believe in accommodation, but we don’t believe in an accommodation that hurts other students.”
Student A, who is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an earlier press release that using a separate locker room “stigmatized me, often making me feel like I was not a ‘normal person.’”
At the December school board meeting, one speaker called the old policy “institutionalized segregation.” Others brought up the high rates of suicide and depression for transgender men and women.
The head of the privacy group, who has children in the school district, said the group cares about Student A but is asking for fairness. She said:
We truly do care about these children who struggle with gender identity, and these children are welcome in my home. All I ask is that the respect go both ways. That’s what we’re not seeing. We’re just seeing demands.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, hinges on the idea that the school can and should make accommodations for Student A, but those accommodations shouldn’t violate the privacy and safety rights of other students.
Absent the lawsuit, Tedesco suggested, there’s little chance of finding middle ground.
“The reality is, the folks driving this agenda on the other side from us won’t accept anything other than full access to the opposite-sex restroom and locker room as the solution,” the families’ lawyer said, adding:
And what happened at District 211 is proof positive of that. They gave Student A accommodation after accommodation after accommodation, and ultimately the [Education Department] said no, full access is the only thing that’s going to solve the issue.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:48 AM