Right Opinion

One School's Undress Rehearsal for the Equality Act

Tony Perkins · Mar. 19, 2019

There are at least 787 students at Pennsylvania’s Honesdale High — but only one of them seemed to know about a major change in the school’s rules. The others found out the most traumatic way possible: when they walked into the girls’ locker room and found a teenage boy in women’s underwear.

For at least one 15-year-old sophomore, the situation was terrifying. “It was first period,” she remembers, “and I had gym class. And I walked in [to change] with all my friends, and while I was putting on my pants, I heard a man’s voice. So I turned around, and he’s standing there on the opposite aisle looking at me. I glanced down, and I could tell that he was wearing women’s underwear and what was underneath it.” When the boy stared back her — and the entire group of partially-dressed girls — she was horrified.

When she got home that afternoon, she told her mom and dad what happened. Turns out, the students weren’t the only ones who’d never been notified about the policy. Still in shock, they called the principal and Wayne County superintendent. Neither were particularly sorry about the girls’ experience. And to prove it, they refused to lift a finger to help. The girls’ only option was to wait outside the locker room — a place designated for them — until the boy inside was finished.

That’s completely unfair, attorney Andrea Shaw argues. Essentially, the school is punishing the girls for wanting to use their own space! “The school’s only solution for my client was for her to wait outside the locker room until the individual of the opposite sex was finished changing. And then she went in and was late for gym class and also late for her second period class. [Their] solution made it clear that they believed that my client was the problem.”

Just to the south, in Boyertown, Alexis Lightcap ran into the same situation. “No one prepared us, warned us, or counseled us” about the boys they’d find in their restrooms and locker rooms. And they were just as unsympathetic when the girls complained about it. Like this sophomore, Alexis thought the adults’ job was to protect students. Instead, she got the same cold shoulder from administrators, who seem to be more concerned about looking politically incorrect than guarding their girls’ privacy.

Because of that, these girls are being put in an impossible position, Shaw argues in her formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. “Given the culture’s treatment of LGBT issues, [she] has to choose between her privacy and ostracism.” Now that Wayne County is taking the boy’s side, girls are “unbearably uncomfortable” — and not just her client. Other students have come forward from the cross-country team and said they object to changing in front of him. Parents are worried about “overnight trips and whether the male will be assigned the same hotel room.” Girls aren’t using the restroom during school because they’re worried they’ll run into male classmates. And others are concerned that “the teachers will retaliate” if they bring up how uneasy they are.

It’s ironic, then, Shaw writes, that the district is so particular about its dress code. “Female students cannot wear skin-tight clothing, yoga pants, spandex, tights, form-fitting blouses, or short tops that expose a bare midriff, short dresses or skirts, shorts… Yet the school does not find it objectionable to permit a female-attracted male student to view girls while they are undressed or for the girls to see the male student’s genitals outlined in [girls] underwear.” The whole point of having separate bathroom and locker rooms, she goes on, is “to provide an area for individuals to dress and undress outside of the presence of somebody of the opposite sex. Opening up restroom and locker room facilities to members of the opposite sex is sexual harassment.”

Unfortunately, congressional Democrats don’t see it that way. They want to open up everyone’s locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms to men under the so-called “Equality Act.” This girl’s dad can’t believe that. “I think any father wouldn’t want their child to be exposed to anything, especially at such a young age.” Well, the bill has 239 cosponsors. I wonder how they’d feel if one of their daughters came home crying because they were forced to undress in front of a teenage boy?

“This is not a partisan issue,” ADF’s Kristen Waggoner insists in a great op-ed for the Hill. “Feminist lesbians who disagree with me about almost everything agree with me on this point, but have been shouted down within their communities because they insist that women’s private spaces are for women… We all can agree that individuals with gender dysphoria deserve compassion and dignity, but no amount of self-perception can make a man a woman — nor change the reality of what being a woman is. My privacy, my daughter’s privacy and my mother’s privacy simply don’t depend on what a man thinks about his gender.”

Originally published here.

Library Puts Sex Offender back in Circulation

When Montrose Library asked a drag queen to read to kids, they probably should have looked into his personal story first. That’s when the Houston location would have discovered: Albert Garza wasn’t just indoctrinating children — he has a history of sexually abusing them.

It was a controversial idea to start with. But when library officials invited Albert Garza to host their September event, they had no idea they were endangering kids. That’s because, the library announced later, they never bothered to finish a background check. Fortunately for parents, Houston MassResistance did it for them. And what they found was shocking. “We may not all agree that having adult entertainers is the right way to entertain young children or promote literacy and adversity and acceptance and inclusion,” the group’s Tracy Shannon told Todd Starnes. “But we can all agree that it’s inappropriate to have a sex offender entertaining children at the library.”

Officials at the Montrose Library issued a public apology for the incident and promised to be more careful. “We were made aware today that one participant for Drag Queen story time who read at the September 29, 2018, Drag Queen Storytime has a criminal background that should have prevented him from participating in the program. We assure you that this participant will not be involved in any future HPL [Houston Public Library] programs. In our review of our process and of this participant, we discovered that we failed to complete a background check as required by our own guidelines. We deeply regret this oversight and the concern this may cause our customers. We realize this is a serious matter.”

They tried to reassure parents that every program is “supervised by HPL staff” and “no participant is ever left alone with children.” But that’s of little comfort to community members, who were stunned that anyone would be so lax about kids’ safety. “If they had done their job and due diligence — if they had said wait…maybe it’s not a good idea to have a sex offender who at 200 pounds and 5-foot-11 assaulted an 8-year-old boy,” Shannon said.

Usually, the fact that a library is willing to host these drag queen events is horrifying enough. Imagine finding out that the person they invited wasn’t even vetted. Or worse, a threat to kids! Houston residents have already filed a lawsuit to stop taxpayer-funded drag events at Montrose, and a close call like this one only pours more gasoline on the fire. We shouldn’t have to wait for a child to get hurt before we realize what a terrible idea these story times are. A local library is the last place parents should have to worry about an unhappy ending for kids.

Originally published here.

MPAA Previews the Problems with Ratings System

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) doesn’t mind slapping a PG-13 label on movies with sex, language, and violence. But when it comes to a film about abortion? They’ll give it an R-rating, whether it deserves one or not! Anything to keep more people from knowing the truth about a procedure taking millions of lives a year.

The makers of Unplanned, the true story about former Planned Parenthood worker Abby Johnson, learned that the hard way. A few weeks before their film is set to debut, producers got the shocking news that Hollywood decided the film needed to be restricted to people 18 and older. They insisted it was for “some disturbing, bloody images.” But co-director Chuck Konzelman thinks the reason is simpler: politics.

“We made a pro-life movie in a pro-choice town,” he told Breitbart. Just as the film industry did with Gosnell, Hollywood seems intent on doing everything it can to limit the impact of their message. It’s so hypocritical, fumed Unplanned author Cary Solomon. “The standard used to rate our movie is being applied inconsistently as it relates to bloody images on-screen,” he said. “In fact, Happy Death Day 2U (a "slasher” film with several violent murder scenes) has far more blood and gore than our film, and it received a PG-13 rating.“

Like Konzelman, he’s worried the rating will scare families away — and at exactly the wrong time. After what happened in New York and the new nationwide debate over abortion, Americans never been more primed to hear and see the truth. Movies like this one are exactly what we need to keep the conversation going. In an open letter, a mix of 29 conservative leaders, actors, and Academy Award-winners ask parents not to be deterred by the MPAA’s rating. ”…[We] are urging our fellow citizens to, just as they did with The Passion of the Christ, ignore the MPAA’s Restricted rating and watch the film anyway when it is released in theaters March 29th.“

Who decides what’s appropriate for your family to watch, we ask? "Is it a group of unelected parents from Beverly Hills who meet together, watch a film and vote, and ultimately decide for you what is appropriate for your family and what’s not? Or is it you, your family, your pastor or priest, and other leaders you respect? Let’s not project the values of the 90210 zip code upon the rest of America.”

“Abortion is the great evil of our time, resulting in the loss of 50 million-plus of our fellow citizens — and we believe this film has the potential to be what Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to slavery: the catalyst for ending it. While we have tremendous respect for the work of the MPAA, in this case we agree with the film’s distributor — that R stands for Recommended. And while we don’t think this film is for young children, we strongly recommend that this film be seen by as many Americans as possible — including older children.”

For a sneak peak at the film, watch the trailer below. Then, for theaters and movie times, check out the Unplanned website.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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