By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Parents push back on transgender issue

Former U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall and Linfield psychology professor Tanya Tompkins criticized the Yamhill County commissioners Thursday for their recent stance in opposition to federal Title IX protections for transgender students.

Tompkins presented commissioners with a petition signed by 347 local residents, united in opposing an August letter supporting Parents’ Rights in Education. The petition called PRE “an extremist group.”

Commissioners approved the letter at the request of the group’s director, Lori Porter of Beaverton. In it, they asserted, “The board stands in support of local control and the rights of local school boards elected to execute the desires of their constituents.”

Marshall, who is married to Yamhill County Circuit Judge Ladd Wiles, has children in McMinnville schools. So does McMinnville resident Ted DeChatelet, who spoke in support of the petitioners.

They said the letter supporting Parents Rights in Education fell outside county jurisdiction, contradicted established legal opinion, and amounted to bullying of affected students. They urged the commissioners to rescind it.

The protest drew no comment from commissioners at the meeting, which also featured public comment for and against the Yamhelas Westsider trail, and a lengthy land-use hearing on whether to allow marijuana sales in highway commercial zones.

Megan Corvus of Gaston, who has volunteered as a speaker for a local LGBT-teen support group, told commissioners, “This isn’t a hypothetical discussion. Your letter has an impact on real students, who are here right now, and need a place to pee, without having to be ostracized in a place that should be safe, so they can focus on their education.”

Corvus told commissioners, “These people live here in our county. They’re going to our schools. They’re citizens here.

“The suicide rate for transgendered students is 50 percent. That’s one of every two. Just for comparison, the suicide rate of returning veterans is less than 1 percent, and yet, that’s a topic we talk about a lot.”

DeChatelet, an assistant professor of theater and dance at Western Oregon University, described himself as “a person who has evolved.”

He told commissioners that, “Ten years ago, I met my first transgender person, and I was really put off. I didn’t know what to say to them. I didn’t know how to respond.

“I couldn’t have a social conversation at a party, because it freaked me out. And I’m not proud of that at all. Over the past 10 years, I’ve gotten to know many transgender people, and they are simply that — people. And they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by their elected officials.”

DeChatelet said he came forward to “appeal to you as humans to take a step back.”

He said, “Nobody is transgender by choice. They’re not seeking attention. It is a tough row to hoe, and we need to support these kids.”

Marshall told commissioners that the issue has already been decided, in legal terms, by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. She said those departments are not alone in their interpretation.

“President Obama has already spoken. Of course, he is a constitutional law scholar, who taught at Harvard Law School. And he has likewise interpreted Title IX as protecting transgender students,” she said. In addition, she said, “Legal scholars across the country have agreed with this. I understand that the parents rights organization takes a different stance, and that’s certainly its First Amendment right, but this body does not consist of legal scholars, of lawyers, or of people who have the jurisdiction to make these sorts of pronouncements in terms of federal law.

“We’ve got a problem with bullying in this country in schools. We’ve got teen suicide on the rise. And we know that right now, this hasn’t been a problem at Mac High.”

She concluded, “We have transgender students in our schools at the middle school, at the elementary school and at the high school level. And they have been included and not been targeted for bullying, at least as far as I can tell from my kids, who are friends with a lot of these kids.

“This is a time for compassion, for love, for acceptance, for trust. Not a time that we want to create an environment where we single these kids out to be targets and bullied and potentially lead to the type of tragic consequences that we’ve seen across this country.”

 

Comments

Sal Peralta

Folks who would like to sign Tanya's petition can do so here: https://www.change.org/p/yamhill-county-commissioners-support-transgender-students-not-parents-right-in-education

TTT

Amanda Marshall lost all credibility when she lied to federal investigators.

http://www.infowars.com/too-big-to-jail-amanda-marshall-hillarys-oregon-avatar/

kona

What is the definition of a "transgender student"? Can a student just say s/he is transgender and that is it? Or, is a sex change necessary to to be a transgender student? Can a "transgender student" change their mind after six months (or whenever) and the go into the bathroom/locker room of their choice? Just asking? Wouldn't both sex bathrooms with locks on the door solve this problem?

askquestions

Kona, those are good questions, the National Center for Transgender Equality has an FAQ for folks that have questions about who transgender people are: http://www.transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people

Basically, the trans experience is different for everyone. I do like this exercise from the website:

Thought Exercise: Thinking About Your Own Gender
It can be difficult for people who are not transgender to imagine what being transgender feels like. Imagine what it would be like if everyone told you that the gender that you’ve always known yourself to be was wrong. What would you feel like if you woke up one day with a body that’s associated with a different gender? What would you do if everyone else—your doctors, your friends, your family—believed you’re a man and expected you to act like a man when you’re actually a woman, or believed you’re a woman even though you’ve always known you’re a man?

kona

askquestions, I don't think this situation is as much about the legitimacy of transgender people as it is about common privacy that should be available to everyone. I would hope that someone could answer my questions to help me understand. From my casual observation, this "bathroom thing" is being overblown in importance with people taking sides for differing reasons that have little to do with which bathroom to use. How about a little common sense and just put locks on a few bathroom doors?

kona

Does this mean that a male student (who makes the claim of being transgender) can shower with the female students in the girls locker room? And then three months later shower in the male student's locker room?

kona

Or, does this now mean that a male by birth transgender can play on the girls volleyball team?

OregonDad

How about whatever parts you were born with determines which restroom you use. It has worked fairly well for several thousand years. Men "feeling" like a woman today are already using these ridiculous new rules to enter ladies' restrooms with the desire to attack. It's not about bullying. It is about protecting everyone else, too.

askquestions

OregonDad, that is an incredibly ignorant statement to make. Being transgendered isn't about dressing up like the opposite sex in order to perpetuate crime. In fact, if you took the time to look up actual statistics from non-partisan sources (in case you were worried about that liberal bias), you would see that women aren't being attacked by trans people in restrooms. Ever.

Here's a real fact from the FBI: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and *Transgender* people are already the most likely targets of hate crimes in America - twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against Jews. That fact was originally published on the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting page: https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2014

In terms of "several thousand years" - history may be written by the victors (aka cis-gendered), but trans-people have also existed for millennia -cultures from all over the world have evidence of trans-people functioning in society - some religions had/have trans deities.

TL:DR Do some research using non-biased/non-partisan sources before making ignorant and hateful comments.

bonnybedlam

TTT, I'm afraid you're the one who lost all credibility when you linked to infowars. That's not a news outlet, it's a vicious echo-chamber of extremist hate. Just in case you haven't noticed.

kona

askquestions, I would still like answers to my questions above. I'm referring to the person who thinks s/he is transgender and experiments with the idea. Can anyone legally now claim they are transgender and shower in the opposite sex school shower room? Or, use the bathroom of the opposite sex? Do you understand the problems involved with that? What is the legal definition of a transgender student?

kona

Or, if you are bisexual does that make it legal to take a shower in either or both shower rooms at the high school? Please answer and explain how you justify this as acceptable?

askquestions

Kona, I hope I can provide some insight, although I am LGBTQ, I am not trans.

The amount of emotional effort it takes to come out, especially in a school setting, is astronomical (but also different for everyone). It's not just a "today I woke up and felt like a woman", it is a lifestyle choice, that can sometimes come with years of conflict and confusion. So the idea that someone would change their mind about being trans after a short period of time or just to have access to the opposite sex or have an advantage in a sport isn't very feasible. Being trans is part of their identity, much like being gay, lesbian or bisexual. It's not a passing phase, it's who they are.

LGBTQ people of all ages take public showers with hetero people every day! Just like you, we aren't going into showers to search for potential sexual encounters or people to creep on, we really just want to shower and get on with our day.

I hope that provides some insight.

kona

I understand (as best I can) the conflicting feelings of an LGBTQ. I am concerned about the privacy rights of those who are not LGBTQ. Do they have any rights? I know this is a problem for students (and parents) who do not want to shower or be in the bathroom with the opposite sex regardless if it is sexual or not. I understand that it is not a minute by minute decision for almost all. But there are plenty of exceptions about those who for one reason or another do not want to make a lifetime commitment to the LGBTQ community. And there are many people these days who are experimenting with the idea or who are just plain weird/deviates. So I ask again, if some student just wants a few "kicks" can they say they belong to the LGBTQ community and have legal status to shower with either sex or attend any restroom they please? Or, be on any girls or boys sports team they would like? Are there any prohibitions involved in these choices? I would hope that you would understand the feelings of parents with their sixth grade (or high school) girl or boy showering (or using the restroom) with the biologically opposite sex. Again, what is the legal definition of these LGBTQ people and is it just a person proclaiming to be of this group that gets them a free pass into showers and restrooms of their choice?

john fritter

Kona, thank you this is what I would like to know also. Along with what about the non trans kids? I don't think I would have been real comfortable having to use the restroom/locker room along side female bodies. I wonder how many young ladies are ok with having male bodies in the same facilities? Are we considering everyone here? I understand the transgender find themselves in the same position so if its not right for them to feel this way why is it right for the non trans kids?

Megan

askquestions, thank you for doing the hard work of providing answers to people with questions.

Lulu

Amanda Marshall will never be in the position to be a spokesperson for any issue.
Boys do not belong in the girls' multi-stall restroom and vice versa. If someone is confused about gender, that person should use the unisex single toilet stalls. Or hold it.
And shower at home.

askquestions

Kona, I think I understand what you're saying, but the idea that someone would claim to be trans "for kicks" just to get access to the opposite sex is what isn't feasible. You would have to ask someone at the school district what their policy is, but I'm imagining there is a lot of speaking with counselors, parents, administrators and the students themselves to accommodate their needs. If that person is simply posing as transgendered in order to use the bathroom, then they are not trans, they are taking advantage of a policy meant to give LGBTQ folks equal rights, which to me is just as insulting and contributes to transphobia.

While it is important ALL our children feel safe, it's important for them to learn that LGBTQ people needing to use the restroom aren't who they should be afraid of.

One thing I keep seeing is that "boys don't belong in the girls bathroom" - here's the thing - a trans female *is* female. If there is someone who has transitioned, that means that they no longer identify as their prior gender, and many times, transitioning to the appearance of their true gender allows their outside appearance to match who they are. We need to stop seeing gender as a male/female construct, and start viewing gender as a spectrum. I would recommend learning more about it from this website, which explains how perceived sex and gender are two different things: https://www.genderspectrum.org/quick-links/understanding-gender/

OregonDad

AskQuestions (AQ): Thank you for your reply. I think you misunderstood my point. I was making the point many have made above - what keeps a perverted male claiming he feels like a woman from going into the ladies restroom or shower? It IS happening already.

That said, since you did bring it up, I will address the issue of LGBTQ people abusing these new rules. I am not addressing you, AQ, or accusing you of anything. I am really addressing those who are wondering if this is safe for the rest of us. Since any altering of God's design for human sexuality opens the door to more, choosing to go the LGBTQ route is ONE of the paths to harming others, particularly children. I am not at all saying that you, AQ, are in any way involved in this. But, just as if a straight man is involved in sex in anyway outside of God's design, he is more likely to harm others, so also are those (particularly men) in the LGBTQ lifestyle.

From the article at: https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=is02e3

* Pedophiles are invariably males: Almost all sex crimes against children are committed by men.

* Significant numbers of victims are males: Up to 33% of all sex crimes against children are committed against boys (as opposed to girls).

* The 10 % fallacy: Studies indicate that, contrary to the inaccurate but widely accepted claims of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, homosexuals comprise between 1 to 3 % of the population.

* Homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses: Individuals from the 1 to 3 % of the population that is sexually attracted to the same sex are committing up to 33% of the sex crimes against children.

* Some homosexual activists defend the historic connection between homosexuality and pedophilia: Such activists consider the defense of "boy-lovers" to be a legitimate gay rights issue.

* Pedophile themes abound in homosexual literary culture: Gay fiction as well as serious academic treatises promote "intergenerational intimacy." Consider NAMBLA.org

Lulu

OregonDad's initial point is why I refuse to bend on this argument. Perverts, psychopaths and pedophiles will capitalize on it. There will be horrifying consequences political correctness cannot justify.

askquestions

Oregon Dad, your "statistics" lose credibility when you see that the source you are citing is from the Family Research Council, which is an openly conservative and anti-LGBT organization. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights organizations which aids the FBI in identifying and reporting on hate groups in the United States, lists it as an "extremist organization" for its anti-LGBT activity.

So again, if you'd like to actually have something to contribute to the discussion other than inflammatory facts made up by a homophobic organization, don't use such biased sources. You can check the bias of an organization by looking at the "About Us" page.

askquestions

I would also add that while you and many other may ascribe to Christian religious principles, not all of us do, so citing religious references, however much you do believe in them, does not make them factually true.

OregonDad

Thank you AQ. If you will look at the sources for that article, you will find mostly non-religious sources. I was expecting you to like the article source, QA, but I did want to be forthright.

I'm out of here.

OregonDad

Sorry. Type-o. It should have said that I was not expecting you to like the article source.
Good day.

tagup

Seems like opinions and attitudes are all over the map and I can't quite figure out the logic.....

A recurring concern is a transgender male using the women's restroom/shower.

LGBTQ equals pedophile... which are mostly men... that commit a large % of crimes against boys.....so why would they want to go into the ladies restroom?

Seems to me that fear of the unknown is the biggest force at work here...

Lastly...I thought God was all powerful and created heaven and earth....how can anything be outside god's design?....rhetorical question..no answer necessary.

kona

askquestions, I won't go top the religious aspect of this because I don't think it is necessary. I have no religious point of view in this discussion. Let me try a different angle for you. For me as a parent, I would not want my high school daughter using the shower or restroom with her high school brother who she knows very well. Why would I want my daughter sharing a shower/restroom in a public location with a stranger who claims to be transgender? Who really knows if that person is transgender or just a weirdo? If you think that is not a real problem, I would really appreciate your justification.

And yes it is a problem at the high school. Parents are understandably upset with (mostly daughters) having to share showers/restrooms with people whose "plumbing" is of the opposite sex.

p.s. I have two in my immediate family who work in McMinnville public schools and are associated with these situations first-hand.

kona

tagup,can you cite a legal definition of a transgender male? Would you let your daughter shower in a public shower or restroom like a campground, school or even the McMinnville swimming pool with a person with male "plumbing"?

john fritter

To say the SPLC's stats are unbiased or more credible than the FRC is pretty hard to believe if you know much about SPLC. Don't think I'm taking sides with the FRC either just saying, to compare 2 groups on the opposite ends of the stick and say neither is biased is just not true. Both groups are going to stick with what supports their cause and burry the rest plain and simple.

TTT

Try this one bonnybedlam:

http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202759844291/Justice-Department-Finds-ExUS-Attorney-Lied-About-Affair?slreturn=20160815125642

Or this one:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/06/former_us_attorney_amanda_mars.html

Or this one ect...:

http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/management/oversight/2016/06/08/oig-former-us-attorney-tried-impede-investigation-into-affair/85597804/

Now what do you have to say?

Lulu

What's up with so many weak bladders?

Sal Peralta

Kona - This is not an academic issue.

We have children in public school in McMinnville who are transgender, who don't need to be bullied or called out by their elected leaders. This is probably the single most bullied segment of our society. Half attempt suicide. We do not need our elected officials using their office to bully these kids just because they want to fight battles that have nothing to do with the office they were elected to serve in.

Regarding some of your comments... Determining gender is not always as easy is people assume.

Statistically, there are probably about a half dozen children local schools (1 in 2000) who have ambiguous genetalia. As much as 1-2 percent of our population have varying degrees of intersex traits in terms of hormones, sex chromosomes and the rest of the so-called "plumbing".
Some have talked about "God's design". What do such people have to say to those born with androgen insensitivity or other similar intersex conditions?

Someone else mentioned pedophilia. We have laws against pedophilia, and nothing in the federal guidelines protecting trans kids from being discriminated against in school protects pedophiles. The point of this is to give children who are a little different and who are among the most subjected to bullying in our society a sense that they will be a little safer in our public schools.

The response against that is shameful. I think the commissioners were "bullying from the top". And I am proud of my wife and the others who spoke up including especially Amanda Marshall, who did so knowing that she would catch blowback for speaking out in public.

kona

Sal, no one condones bullying including the commissioners. So I guess you feel that anyone who considers themselves as transgender can go into the restroom/shower of their choice in total disregard for the rest of the people in that restroom/shower? Is that correct? They are just setting themselves up for drawing negative attention to their situation. What is the purpose of provoking/disrespecting the other 98-99 percent?

Serious question, would you want a 10 year-old daughter taking a shower in a public shower with a 30 year-old with male "plumbing" who claims to be transgender? Or, be in the same restroom with that 30 year-old person? If you think it is "no big deal" I would think you need to watch the news a little more closely.

Then again, if you think it is "no big deal", what are your suggestions? I think the easiest would be to have designated restrooms/showers for one person of any sexual preference for themselves with a lock on the door. Of course that would cost Billions of dollars across the U.S.

You said, "We have children in public school in McMinnville who are transgender, who don't need to be bullied or called out by their elected leaders." What is "bullying" about the statement, “The board stands in support of local control and the rights of local school boards elected to execute the desires of their constituents”? That is the commissioner's opinion. I'm sure if their actions violate the federal law they will be held accountable.

Sal Peralta

Kona - Your question is a strawman. I think the federal guidelines sent to schools are appropriate and that our commissioners should keep their nose out of areas that have nothing to do with the jobs they are being elected to serve.

kona

Do you feel that anyone who considers themselves as transgender can go into the restroom/shower (grade school, high school, college or other public) of their choice in total disregard for the rest of the people in that restroom/shower? Is that correct?

That is a "yes" or a "no". Nothing straw man about it. You said, "determining gender is not always as easy is people assume". Who legally decides who is transgender and who isn't? This also has to do with county facilities.

kona

Anybody? I didn't realize it was that hard of a question for those who are set so solidly in their opinion.

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