Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Is Segregation Now OK?

At California State University, Los Angeles, segregation has come full circle. No, this isn’t 1950s Alabama, but 2016 California, a bastion of “progressivism.” The university is justifying dormitory segregation on the basis of it being the best way to combat “microaggressions” and “racially insensitive remarks.” CSLA opted for this newly “inclusive” racially segregated housing at the request of the CSLA’s Black Student Union. Evidently, “separate but equal” isn’t considered segregation if it’s requested by black students.

A similar story has arisen on the campus of Northern Kentucky University where a poster for “Welcome Black Week” was parodied by a “Welcome White Week” flier. The parody flier advertised such events as “White Lives Matter vs. Black Lives Matter” and “Pizza Party for Tolerance.” The “Welcome Black Week” is an event that has been established on several campuses across the nation in recent years. Its objective is to help introduce incoming freshman to the black experience. Of course, the parody flier has prompted cries of racism and intolerance, so the NKU administration has dutifully launched an investigation to root out those responsible. Which leaves one to wonder: Is promoting racial segregation now the hip new trend for leftists?


Minnesota Students and Parents File Lawsuit Against Obama’s Bathroom Mandate

A group of students and parents from Minnesota filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the federal government and their school district for allowing a transgender student who was born male but identifies as female into the girls’ locker rooms, showers, and restrooms.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of challenges to the Obama administration’s bathroom mandate issued in May that requires public schools and universities nationwide to give transgender students full access to school facilities based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex. Schools that do not comply with the administration’s guidance could face legal action or loss of federal funding.

The lawsuit was filed by the conservative nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom representing concerned parents and students who formed a group called Privacy Matters. The group is suing over Minnesota’s Virginia Public Schools’ policy for transgender students, arguing that the current policy is an invasion of personal privacy.

According to the complaint, a transgender student in Duluth, Minnesota, was allowed to enter the girls’ locker room and would dance “in a sexually explicit manner—‘twerking,’ ‘grinding,’ and dancing like he was on a ‘stripper pole’ to songs with explicit lyrics, including ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis.”

“On another occasion,” the complaint noted, “a female student saw the male student lift his dress to reveal his underwear while ‘grinding’ to the music.”

“School policies should promote the rights and safety of every student, but that’s not what Virginia Public Schools is doing—and it’s certainly not what the departments of Education and Justice are doing,” said Gary McCaleb, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom.

“No child should be forced into an intimate setting, like a locker room, with someone of the opposite sex,” he added. “Telling girls that their privacy and modesty don’t merit a private and secure changing area is an attack on women. The school district should rescind its privacy-violating policies, and the court should order the [Department of Education] and [Department of Justice] to stop bullying school districts with falsehoods about what federal law requires.”

The group, Privacy Matters, is suing the Education Department, the Justice Department, and Minnesota’s Virginia public school system.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, argues that the Obama administration unlawfully redefined the meaning of Title IX to provide transgender students protection against discrimination based on their gender identity.

The issue of whether Title IX applies to gender identity has divided the country, with liberals arguing that access to private facilities in accordance to a student’s gender identity is a basic civil right, while conservatives say opening bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers to students of the opposite biological sex would violate the safety and privacy rights of the rest of the student body.

Title IX is the federal statute that bans discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational institution that receives government funding.

In August, the Supreme Court signaled an interest in weighing in on the issue, allowing a school system in the state of Virginia to temporarily keep its bathrooms separated by biological sex until lawyers for the school district file their appeal asking the Supreme Court to hear their case. Later that month, a U.S. District judge in Texas followed suit, arguing the Obama administration did not follow proper rulemaking procedures when mandating that public schools open their restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to transgender students based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex.

A total of 24 states are challenging the Obama administration’s bathroom directive, in addition to the private lawsuits being brought by students and parents in different school districts across the country.


How to Talk School Choice and Win

“Choice” always seems to be a winning argument for the left, except when it comes to education. Liberals repeatedly cry foul as soon as someone champions school choice at (what they perceive to be) the expense of public education.

Conservatives claim the opposite is true—school choice empowers students by giving their families educational options.

So, it seems like we’re at an impasse with no middle ground in sight. Not true. As we’ve talked about these past several weeks, there are points of agreement to acknowledge, examples to use, and words to help frame your argument.

School choice is a nuanced and controversial topic, but not one that can’t be addressed.

1. Common Ground

Whether someone supports school choice or not, everyone wants quality education for kids.

This plot of common ground is also why the debate can get so heated—education is an important component of society and the key to opportunity.

As the discussion continues on how to achieve ideal educational reforms, remember that the person you’re debating most likely agrees that children should have access to quality education regardless of ZIP code or parental income. Start there.

2. Examples

Once you express common ground, the best way to win the “school choice” argument is by illustrating its successes, so show examples of how and where it’s worked.

Tell the story of District of Columbia charter schools. Since school choice was established in 2004, more than 6,000 students have graduated at levels well above the public school average. Then transition to your community—how many kids in your neighborhood/city/state wait in line to walk through metal detectors because they’re placed in an unsafe public school? If a safer environment exists outside their ZIP code, give them the opportunity to attend. Only good comes when kids are allowed to learn in a safe environment.

Tell the story of exceptional kids who are disadvantaged if they’re made to fit into the one-size-fits-all public school down the block. Every student is different, so the educational experience should be best tailored to him/her. A violin prodigy will be better served by attending a fine arts high school; a child with health needs may be better served by learning online.

And here’s the kicker—if  you think America’s public schools need reform, then you should champion school choice. It’s been proven time and again that public schools improve when school choice is allowed in the community.

3. Words

This is an emotional topic, and liberals love to emphasize words like “choice” and “opportunity” and “fairness” in reference to education. But we say, STEAL THEIR WORDS.

School choice offers “choice” and “opportunity” to kids stuck in failing schools. What’s “fair” is to give all kids a chance regardless of their ZIP code. Be emotional, not economic; make your argument about the people involved rather than the cost to the taxpayer.

By stealing their words, you’ll also prove that school choice more effectively and efficiently achieves the goals liberals think failed big-government policies should.

Bottom line: find common ground, use examples, insert the right language, and you’ll be a champion in the fight to make sure every kid receives a quality education.


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